How a Pakistani company got dragged into world’s biggest crypto scam

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Pakistan-based Islamic certificate issuing company AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) got itself involved into a major controversy, after the now infamous OneCoin used the company’s certificate to lure in Muslim customers.

Speaking to the Business Recorder about the entire issue, AlHuda (CIBE) CEO Zubair Mughal said his company got contacted by OneCoin through a UK-based organization to provide Shariah certification services to one of the their product ‘Coin Safe’. “We only certified their one product ‘Coin Safe’, but what OneCoin did was that they stated that their entire products were Shariah certified.” he said.

The company then issued a press release announcing that it has withdrawn certificate of ‘Coin safe’ product as well, after OneCoin violated the term of certification. “Due to the violation of the term of certification and non-compliance of the guidelines, AlHuda CIBE also withdraw the certificate of ‘Coin safe’ product as well,” read the statement issued in November, 2016.

The CEO further said that the people of OneCoin urged his company to take their statement off, however, his company decided to stick to it.

Referring to the impact of the ‘fake certificate’ controversy on their overall business, Mughal said, “the overall issue didn’t affect our business much… the reason being back in 2016 the crypto-currency was a new concept and our company’s main business was to issue Islamic compliant certificates”.

The OneCoin scam was among the world’s biggest crypto-scam that hit the digital world this year, after it was learnt that the multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency empire built by Dr Ruja Ignatova was nothing more than a pyramid scheme. Back in March, Ignatova, the founder of OneCoin, was charged by US for securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, but as yet is not under arrest.

Even the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had warned in May 2018, specifically mentioning OnceCoin in a list of cryptocurrencies. “Virtual Currencies (VCs) like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond etc. or Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) tokens are not legal tender, issued or guaranteed by the Government of Pakistan. SBP has not authorized or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens in Pakistan,” the SBP circular read.