May 26, 2022

KARACHI: Apps linked to popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance have committed fraud with Pakistani investors worth $100 million (Rs17.7 billion), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) disclosed on Friday.

“FIA Cybercrime Sindh has issued an order of attendance to Hamza Khan, the general manager/growth analyst at Binance Pakistan… to explain his position on the linkage of fraudulent online investment mobile applications with Binance,” said Imran Riaz, the head of FIA Cybercrime Sindh.

A questionnaire has been sent to the Binance headquarters in Cayman Islands and Binance US to explain the matter.

Though volatile, cryptocurrencies have garnered a lot of investor interest in Pakistan and in other countries thanks to their unbelievable returns. Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, hit a record high of around $65,000 in April 2021 from just $7,000 a year ago. However, it has since dropped to $41,000.

Investigation body says many Ponzi scheme-like online investment frauds going on in country

According to the Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index — published by US-based data and software provider Chainalysis — Pakistan received a little less than $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency during 2019-20.

Though it’s difficult to find out the exact number of Pakistanis actively using Binance, data from Semrush shows that the site had 49,108 visits during July last year (Pakistanis accessing the platform via the app are not included). Another major…

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