Pakistan’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP) is to take legal action against nine companies defying the cryptocurrency ban in that country.

Despite Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar recently issuing a recommendation to legalize cryptocurrency trading and business in the country affecting 5,000 digital currency exchanges, the ban is still in place.

The companies targetted by the Pakistan regulator are Gold Transmit Network Technology (Pvt) Ltd, Green Apple Super Market (Pvt) Ltd, Galaxy Typing Jobs (SMC-Pvt) Ltd, 3-A Alliance (Pvt) Ltd. Pak Memon Impex (Pvt) Ltd, Memon Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, Humanitas Meritus (SMC-Pvt) Ltd, IDG Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, and Ayat Enterprises (SMC-Pvt) Ltd.

Some of the companies have been accused of collecting unauthorized deposits from the public, and illegally leased cars, houses, and electronic appliances, but some have been “dealing in cryptocurrencies and offering Ponzi/multi-level marketing schemes in Pakistan”, according to a press release.

SECP action of this kind is rare and this is one of the first times that the commission has attempted to bring a company to book for dealing in cryptocurrency as the ban has been largely unenforced until now. This is a case of bad timing for the companies involved given that the new legislation freeing exchanges to operate is not far off.

The new cryptocurrency legislation is still in a “recommended” stage but should be rolled out by 20 July given its strong support from the finance minister who has assured there will be a focus on know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies when it becomes legal to trade. It is particularly exciting news as it will be the first time Pakistan is taking the lead in the technology, particularly among its neighboring countries.

 

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