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FIA seized credit cards, bank accounts of 1,064 people linked to crypto transactions

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Based on a month-old request submitted through the Cyber Crime Reporting Center (CCRC) in Islamabad, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has confiscated credit cards and bank accounts of 1,064 people.

According to media report, on September 27, 2021, a regular inquiry was opened under RE-955/2021 against the profiles of 1,064 people who had carried out 2,923 transactions totalling Rs 51 million using a variety of online exchanges, including Binance and Coinbase.

Multiple banks, according to sources, have blocked credit cards linked to bank accounts that showed signs of cryptocurrency transactions. Individuals who had been using Binance P2P to buy or sell cryptocurrency had their bank accounts suspended as well.

Read more: Pakistanis hold more than $20 billion in cryptocurrency assets, says FPCCI

The FIA has been looking into the aforementioned digital transactions for months, demonstrating how strict the federal watchdog’s standards have become as the country progressively adjusts to the prospect of storing fiat money by swapping it for cryptocurrency.

The sale and acquisition of virtual assets is illegal in principle, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Circular No. 3 of the Banking Policy and Regulation Department (BPRD) dated 6 April 2018.

Anyone who buys or sells cryptocurrencies using Pakistani banks or cards may have their account suspended indefinitely as a consequence of these revelations.

Historically, Pakistan has been among the top 15 countries in the world for digital currency acceptance, spite of the fact that the problem of regulating digital currencies remains unsolved.

According to Chainalysis, Pakistan received more than USD 1.5 billion in crypto-cash last year, with many analysts expecting that if crypto transactions were facilitated and regulated, it could have been considerably higher in 2020-2021.

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