A local court in Karachi has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for popular TV host Waqar Zaka in the Rs 8.6 million cryptocurrency scam.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had earlier this year named Waqar Zaka in the case in connection with an inquiry into alleged virtual currency transactions from his bank account.
Waqar Zika did not appear during the hearing in the Karachi Judicial Magistrate’s court on Thursday.
The court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Waqar Zaka and adjourned the hearing till January 5 as Waqar Zaka is allegedly absconding to avoid arrest in the case.
According to sources Waqar Zaka is currently in the US.
Inquiry against Waqar Zaka
The FIA said that an inquiry was initiated against Waqar Zaka on receipt of a report prepared by the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).
The statement said that during the last three years, a total of Rs 8.61 crore was received in his bank account and the money was deposited via cheque.
In this context, it was informed that the money coming from outside was withdrawn through internal transfer in the accounts of different family members.
FIA said that Waqar Zaka used social media for philanthropic purposes and international funding, through which he received Rs 68 lakh and the money was withdrawn from banks through a pay order or interbank fund transfer.
The FIA alleged that “dozens of news stories, blogs and videos were found in the public database that provides evidence of Waqar Zakar’s alleged involvement in cryptocurrency”.
It was further informed that ‘during the inquiry, posts related to bitcoin or cryptocurrency were found in his Twitter account, the accused also promoted cryptocurrency like bitcoin’.
The FIA said that after examining the report obtained in the form of copies of bank and institution records and oral evidence, it was concluded that the accused were trading cryptocurrency in violation of the rules and regulations of the banks and the law of the country. and was found to have engaged in fraud and misconduct in facilitating the transfer of funds and virtual assets for profit.
It was further informed that after starting the inquiry when the accused was summoned, he started baseless propaganda against the state institutions.
Reiterating the allegations, it was told that the accused was found involved in illegal activities by broadcasting objectionable content and making statements against institutions on social media, threatening government officials and inciting people against the state.
The FIA said that Waqar Zaka has allegedly been convicted of an offence punishable under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act 2016, the Pakistan Penal Code, the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2020 and the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947.