An agency of the Pakistani government, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is planning to block websites that deal with cryptocurrencies.
The Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency announced the need to block all websites that deal with cryptocurrencies in the country. This is subsequent to a decision by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) which is seeking a complete ban of cryptocurrencies in the country.
The FIA’s move has reached an advanced stage as the agency’s head announced that they would be collaborating with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the agency in charge of communications to effect the ban. According to a report by Dawn newspaper, the FIA, which is a border control, intelligence security agency that operates under the Interior Secretary of Pakistan.
The FIA Director-General, Dr Sanaullah Abbasi stated that this action of shutting of crypto websites would be taken to prevent fraudulent activities that are the result of the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
After meeting senior officials of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Abbasi stated that the bank gave a presentation with respect to a mechanism that would lead to regulation.
A Court Interpretation
This follows a recommendation of SBP officials after a Sindh High Court gave directives on a legal framework for digital assets in the country. The complete ban for crypto websites recommended by the bank will likely take immediate effect.
Abbasi maintained that the main concern that led to the ban proposed by the SBP is fraud and money laundering.
A New Dimension To Fraud
According to the FIA chief,
Crypto has given a new dimension to fraud.
He further highlighted some existing Pakistani laws. These are the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act of 2016, the Foreign Exchange Remittance Act 1947 and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010. However he stated that these laws make provision for abuses stating that the meeting with SBP officials highlighted the flaws that some entities are taking advantage of.
He said that this has made it difficult to comply with the requirements of the law.
Several fraudulent schemes have exploited loopholes in existing laws to create massive financial scams. Thousands of investors have been defrauded of over 100 million dollars in Pakistan, especially after some 11 apps linked to the popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance stopped working.