FIA announces ‘breakthrough’ in Pakistan’s mega cryptocurrency scam probe


KARACHI – Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange company, has assured full support to Pakistani investigators in a probe related to mega financial scam.

The development comes after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) served a notice on an official from Binance to seek company’s position on linkage to “fraudulent online investment mobile applications”.

The fake apps were identified as MCX, HFC, HTFOX, FXCOPY, OKIMINI, BB001, AVG86C, BX66, UG, TASKTOK and 91fp. All were using Binance blockchain addresses for transactions.

Taking to Twitter, head of FIA Cybercrime Sindh Imran Riaz said: “Break Through in fraudulent online applications linked with Binance case. Binance, contacted FIA Cyber Crime Sindh and assured its full support regarding mega financial scam investigation involving 11 fraudulent apps using Binance blockchain addresses”.

“A telephonic contact was made on Friday night, followed by e-mail contact on Saturday. Binance has nominated a two member team to coordinate with FIA Cyber Crime. They are former investigators with the U.S. Department of Treasury and specialize in cryptocurrency investigations,” read the tweet.

Riaz appreciated the response of Binance keeping in view the gravity of the issue and “looking forward to continued cooperation in unearthing criminal activities based on crypto currency”.

Last week, FIA unearthed a cryptocurrency scam in which billions of rupees were looted from Pakistanis, using online trading applications.

All the applications were linked to world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange company, Binance. It added that Pakistanis were defrauded of Rs18 billion by scammers.

The investigators have a suspicion that terror financing and money laundering were being made in guise of cryptocurrency.

FIA Cybercrime Wing head Imran Riaz said that all 11 applications were suddenly shut down, depriving people of their billions of rupees investment in cryptocurrency. He revealed that the applications used to lure people with high-profit rates.

Riaz said that FIA had detected Binance’s 26 suspicious blockchain vaults, which were used for money transactions. He said that the exchange company has been asked to provide the record of the vaults.

“We launched a probe after receiving complaints regarding a fraud involving billions of rupees being committed using nine online applications,” he said.

He shared that people invested between $100 to $80,000 through fraud applications.

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