It has been reported that a local court in Karachi has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Waqar Zaka, a social media activist and cryptocurrency trader who is said to be on the run in connection with suspicious transactions involving Rs. 173 million in cryptocurrency.
It is noteworthy that this development has taken place following the filing of a case by the Cyber Crime Wing (CCW) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against Waqar Zaka in August 2020, for operating two bank accounts to transact in cryptocurrencies.
Mukesh Kumar, Judicial Magistrate (East) heard the case against Waqar Zaka and ordered the FIA’s lawyer to submit a report regarding the issue of an arrest warrant against the absconder at the next hearing scheduled for 5 January 2023.
In his remarks on the case, Shehryar Ahmed Khan, Assistant Director (AD) of the Foreign Intelligence Agency, stated that the bank’s records from the past three years revealed Zaka’s transactions worth over Rs. 173 million, including credit transactions of Rs. 86.1 million and debit transactions of Rs. 87.1 million.
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The FIA stated that Waqar Zaka collected charity via social media and international funding and received over Rs. 6.8 million, which was withdrawn via electronic funds transfers (EFTs) and interbank funds transfers (IBFTs).
According to the report, Waqar Zaka’s videos on social media prove that he is involved in cryptocurrency assets and the report notes that the first step in its investigation revealed that Waqar Zaka promotes digital assets such as bitcoin, which are not recognized as legal assets by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Waqar Zaka Refutes FIA Allegations Against Him
According to Waqar Zaka, regarding the FIA issue, during PTI’s government, the FIA opened an investigation against him because he is the owner of a cryptocurrency Facebook group for which he charges subscription fees, which was the reason behind the investigation.
A Facebook group subscriber reported to him that the FIA started an investigation into him because he was allegedly defrauding his bank accounts by transferring Rs. 10-20 million from the Facebook group subscribers to his bank accounts.
Furthermore, Waqar Zaka added that he believes the media is also misreporting his issue in a way that is detrimental to his case. There had been a previous categorization by the FIA of Zaka’s case as one of money laundering; however, a judge had ordered that the FIA should correct the classification.
Moreover, he disputed the fact that the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) is the complainant in his case, which claims that Waqar Zaka’s accounts have received large sums of money. In this regard, he sarcastically remarked that hefty transactions are a crime in Pakistan.