The Pakistani Federal Investigation Service (FIA) has sent an official notice to the Binance crypto exchange named in a major fraud case. The FIA will investigate complaints from Binance users who have alleged that they have transferred money to unknown third-party wallets through the crypto exchange. The scam is estimated to have cost people around $ 100 million (approximately Rs 739 billion) in total. A notice has also been sent to Binance headquarters in the Cayman Islands overseas territory for responses.
In Pakistan, the notice was sent to Hamza Khan, the general manager and growth analyst of the Binance unit there. Investigative authorities have asked Khan to explain the company’s link to “fraudulent online mobile investment applications,” according to a report in Pakistani newspaper Dawn News.
In an initial investigation, the Pakistani authorities succeeded in identifying around eleven fraudulent apps that illegally collected user funds. The names of these apps are random abbreviations that may or may not mean something. Some of these apps include HFC, MCX, HTFOX, BB001, and AVG86C, among others.
The scammers later also lured investors into joining the Telegram channels, which offered them “expert betting signals”. Each of these malicious Telegram channels hosted up to 5,000 people each, it added.
Images of the FIA notification to Binance are circulating on Twitter.
In this case, the crypto exchange has promised full cooperation with the authorities.
In a statement, the FIA’s additional director of cybercrime wing, Imran Riaz, has confirmed to the media that Binance has contacted them to ensure they work together, according to a report by The News.
Binance Pakistan also posted a message on Twitter promising cooperation while saying it will not comment on the matter.
We do not comment on specific matters with regulators or law enforcement agencies. Our general approach, however, is to cooperate whenever possible on investigations. In particular, Binance tries to work closely with law enforcement and regulators
– Binance Pakistan: flag-pk: (@BinancePk) January 7, 2022
Binance started in 2017 with its headquarters in China. Later, as China began tightening the noose on crypto activities, the company relocated its headquarters to Cayman Island.
However, it isn’t the only crypto exchange currently facing legal action in Asia.
A number of crypto exchanges have also recently found themselves in trouble in India.
Earlier this month, India opened an investigation into a number of crypto exchanges including CoinSwitch Kuber, CoinDCX, WazirX and Unocoin for alleged tax evasion.
Scammers are becoming active in the crypto sector, as several reports and rising case numbers show.
In December 2021, a report from research firm Chainalysis revealed that scams stole over $ 7.7 billion (approximately Rs.58.697 billion) from crypto investors in the past year.
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