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Cryptocurrency Scam: Waqar Zaka’s non-bailable arrest warrant issued

The bank records revealed that during the last three years, aggregate debt of Rs87.1 million and credit of Rs86.1 million were observed in his account.



Cryptocurrency Scam: Waqar Zaka’s non-bailable arrest warrant issued
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Karachi: A Karachi court Thursday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against television host and social media activist Waqar Zaka in a case relating to a scam of reportedly Rs86 million cryptocurrency.

On Thursday, when the judicial magistrate Mukesh Kumar took the matter, Waqar did not appear before the court.

Resultantly, the judge ordered to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant against Zaka and adjourned the hearing till January 5.

Earlier this year, the cybercrime wing of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had arrested the former TV host in an inquiry into alleged virtual currency-related transactions from his bank account.

The case was filed against Waqar Zaka on the complaint of the state through Shehryar Ahmed Khan—assistant director of the FIA cybercrime wing.

He said that the social media activist was inquired upon the receipt of a source report initiated by the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) in August 2020.

It is also stated that the record collected by FIA from the relevant banks revealed that during the last three years, aggregate debt of Rs87.1 million and credit of Rs86.1 million were observed in his bank account.

The bank’s statement also revealed that funds credited into his accounts through foreign remittances (interbank fund transfer) were also debited through internal transfer to different accounts of his family members.

The FIA also revealed that Waqar used social media for charity purpose and international funding through which he received an amount of Rs6.8million. The money was withdrawn from the accounts through interbank fund transfer or a pay order.  

The agency alleged that, “The multiple videos, news and blogs were found on online public platforms that show Waqar’s involvement into cryptocurrency or virtual assets”.

It further alleged that the accused also used to promote cryptocurrency like Bitcoin online as cryptocurrency-related posts and videos were found on his Twitter account and YouTube channels.

They agency said that after examining the documents like copies of bank records, reports and oral evidences, it had been verified that Zaka had violated the banking rules and regulations and prescribed law of the country, as he had fraudulently and dishonestly committed the crimes of virtual assets/cryptocurrency trading and facilitating to use virtual assets for transferring funds and generating profits.

The agency officials also added that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) did not verify virtual assets as a legal tender to store and transfer money, adding that, “The central bank had also issued a restrain against the risk caused due to trade in cryptocurrencies and cautioned the public to not use such currencies for trading purpose”.

They further stated that the accused was summoned for involving in illegal activities through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter by posting objectionable content against the state institutions, threats to the government officials and provoking people against the state.

He was allegedly found guilty of committing the offences punishable under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016, Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Anti-Money Laundering Act 2020 and Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947, FIA concluded.