Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is reportedly seeking to block websites dealing in cryptocurrency. This decision was made following a meeting between the agency and the State Bank of Pakistan, which had recently recommended that crypto be banned completely.
Pakistan’s FIA Reportedly Seeks to Block Cryptocurrency Websites
Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is seeking to block websites dealing in cryptocurrency, Dawn newspaper reported Sunday. The FIA is “a border control, criminal investigation, counter-intelligence, and security agency under the control of the Interior Secretary of Pakistan,” according to the Pakistani government website.
Sanaullah Abbasi, Director General at FIA, told journalists Saturday that his organization will contact the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in an effort to block any crypto websites. This is to protect against money laundering.
His statement followed a meeting he had with senior officials of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country’s central bank. Chief of FIA stated:
SBP officials presented at the meeting about a regulation mechanism.
SBP officials pointed out during the meeting that they had submitted recent recommendations to the Sindh High Court about the legal framework in Pakistan for cryptocurrency. The State Bank recommended that cryptocurrency be banned completely.
The director-general of the FIA stated that his division is primarily concerned with money laundering and fraud.
Cryptography has brought a whole new level to fraud.
The FIA chief discussed existing Pakistani laws, including the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, the Foreign Exchange Remittance Act 1947 and the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010. They do not allow for illegal or improper use of cryptocurrency, he said.
In addition, the meeting with the SBP officials highlighted that Pakistan has “no regulatory framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in order to comply with the FATF [Financial Action Task Force] requirements,” the publication conveyed.
Abbasi stated that the FIA initiated a probe into a large financial scam following 11 apps connected to Binance cryptocurrency exchange. It allegedly defrauded Pakistani investor of more than $100 millions.
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