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Binance assures FIA of ‘full cooperation’ in multi-million dollar scam

Binance is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges: Source: Bitcoin Dynamic

ISLAMABAD: International cryptocurrency exchange Binance on Tuesday assured the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing (Sindh) its “full support” in an investigation into a multi-million dollar scam.

It is pertinent to mention here that the FIA had detected an online fraud of $100 million (Rs17.7 billion) related to cryptocurrency and issued notice to the local representative of Binance to appear in person on January 10.

The FIA had asked the official to explain his position on the company’s linkage to “fraudulent online investment mobile applications”. The apps were identified as MCX, HFC, HTFOX, FXCOPY, OKIMINI, BB001, AVG86C, BX66, UG, TASKTOK and 91fp that were using Binance blockchain addresses for transactions.

In a statement issued in this regard, head of FIA Cybercrime Sindh Imran Riaz said a telephonic contact was established with the crypto exchange on Friday night followed by further correspondence via email the next day.

“Binance has nominated a two-member team to coordinate with FIA Cyber Crime. The investigators are associated with the US Department of Treasury with specialisation in cryptocurrency investigations,” Riaz said in a tweet.

The FIA official appreciated the response from Binance and said he was looking forward to continued cooperation with the exchange in unearthing criminal activities based on cryptocurrency.

The investigation

The FIA had initiated probe into the mega financial scam after a number of people from all over the country contacted the agency on Dec 20 and said that at least 11 mobile apps had stopped working and had “defrauded” them of billions of rupees.

“The modus operandi of these applications was to ask people for registration at Binance Crypto Exchange (Binance Holdings Limited) […] the next step was to transfer money from the Binance Wallet to the account of that particular application,” the FIA had said in a press statement on Friday.

“At the same time, all the members of the group were added in groups on Telegram where so-called expert betting signals, on the rise and fall of Bitcoin, were given by the anonymous owner of the application and admins of the Telegram groups,” it added.

These apps crashed once a considerable capital base was established, robbing people of millions of dollars through the “referral bonus process.”

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