Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is reportedly trying to block cryptocurrency trading websites. The decision followed a meeting by the agency with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which recently recommended a total ban on crypto.
According to reports, the Pakistani FIA is trying to block cryptocurrency websites
Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is trying to block websites trading cryptocurrency, Dawn newspaper reported on Sunday. The FIA is “an agency for border control, criminal investigations, counterintelligence and security services under the control of the Minister of the Interior of Pakistan”, according to the Pakistani government website.
FIA Director General Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi told the press on Saturday that his agency would approach the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block crypto websites to prevent fraud and money laundering.
His statement followed a meeting with senior officials at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country’s central bank. The FIA boss said:
SBP officials made a presentation on a regulatory mechanism at the meeting.
During the meeting, SBP officials noted that the central bank, led by the Sindh High Court, had recently made recommendations on the legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Pakistan. The State Bank has recommended a total ban on cryptocurrencies.
Stressing that his department deals mainly with fraud and money laundering, the FIA Director General said:
Crypto has added a new dimension to scams.
The FIA chief went on to discuss existing Pakistani laws: the Electronic Crime Prevention Act 2016; the Foreign Exchange Remittance Act 1947 (FERA); and the Money Laundering Act 2010 (AMLA). He stressed that they do not contain provisions for illegal and abusive use of cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, the meeting with SBP officials highlighted that Pakistan “does not have a regulatory framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to comply with the FATF [Financial Action Task Force] requirements,” the publication reads.
Abbasi added that the FIA recently launched an investigation into a massive financial fraud after 11 apps linked to cryptocurrency exchange Binance stopped working. The scheme allegedly defrauded Pakistani investors of over $100 million.
What do you think of the Pakistani FIA trying to block cryptocurrency websites? Let us know in the comment section below.
As an Austrian economics student, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economics and cryptography.
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