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Crypto-Currencies case: Finance Ministry directed to file final comment

2 min read
crypto currency

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed the Finance Ministry and federal finance division to file their final comments on legal status of crypto-currencies in Pakistan

The division bench headed by Justice K K Agha heard the petition filed by Waqar Zaka demanding the court to declare a State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) order null and void and declared the digital currencies as legal in Pakistan.

After hearing the comments from the Federal investigation Agency (FIA), counsel for State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and others, the court directed to send all reports to the Finance Ministry and the Federal Finance Division. The court further asked the finance ministry to submit their final comments on it till April 12, 2022.

The court further directed the ministry to inform regarding legal status of these currencies in Pakistan without the Law and what should be a legal law.

The counsel of SBP and the government of Pakistan have persistently requested the court to declare the Crypto-Currencies illegal in Pakistan. While the FIA claimed that all crypto-currencies are being traded illegally in the country and these should be banned.

In an earlier hearing, the court stated that steps should be taken to regulate crypto-currencies in consultation with all stakeholders, including representatives of the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), SBP, the Ministry of Law, the Ministry of IT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Zaka Ashraf, in his petition to the court, said that the SBP governor, in a notice dated April 6, 2018, had advised banks and payment system operators to “refrain from processing, using, trading, holding, transferring value, promoting and investing in virtual currencies/tokens”

The petitioner asked the court to declare this notice null and void, arguing that it violates Articles 4 and 18 of the Constitution.

He also sought an order against the Federal Investigation Agency, preventing it from taking action against people operating digital currency businesses.

The court’s proceedings today were attended by members of the FIA, the officials and the petitioner.

Moreover, the court had restrained the FIA from taking action against those trading in digital currency.

According to a statement released few days back, FIA Cyber Crime Sindh has initiated an investigation against many crypto-currencies scams in which too many Pakistani people lost above $100 million.

The agency asked Hamza Khan, General Manager/ Growth Analyst Binance Pakistan (Crypto Currency Exchange) to explain his position on the linkage of fraudulent online investment mobile applications with Binance.

FIA also sent legal notices to social media influencers, promoting these Apps etc to explain their point of contact with Apps.

The FIA officials has identified at least 26 suspect block chain wallet addresses (Binance Wallet Address), where from fraudulent amount may have been transferred.

A relevant questionnaire has also been sent to Binance Headquarters Cayman Islands and Binance US to explain the same.

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