NTA asks ISPs to block all the access to digital platforms used for transactions of online betting and virtual currencies

Published On: January 9, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: RAJESH KHANAL

Illegal transaction for online betting and virtual currencies on rise: NTA

KATHMANDU, Jan 9: Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has stepped up efforts to restrict the sites being used for online betting and virtual currencies, citing an increase in illegal financial transactions via such digital platforms.  

This sector’s regulator, through a public notice on Sunday, asked the internet service providers (ISPs) to block the web portals related to crypto currencies, bitcoin, hyper networking and online gambling. 

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has not validated the digital technology platforms like virtual currency and network marketing as the country’s monetary instruments. However, there is a massive rise in such illegal transactions, according to the NTA.

“The ISPs are directed to deactivate the accessibility to manage and use the website, apps, and online networks related to the financial crime,” reads the notice issued by the NTA. The regulator has also warned to take legal action against those ISPs that will be found breaching the directives.

The NTA has decided to shut down the website and apps after finding that many Nepalis living in the country and abroad are involved in illegal transactions such as crypto currency, hyper-fund and networking. Such activities are found to be taking down even the inflows of remittance into the country.

On April 26, 2022, the NTA had issued a similar caution notice. However, the ISPs have been ignoring the guidelines of the regulator.

Time and again, the NRB has also been issuing caution notices against these types of illicit financial transactions. The central bank has even warned the individuals and institutions using online platforms to pay for betting and virtual currencies to freeze their bank accounts. But these types of transactions have not been controlled, due to the poor monitoring by the regulatory bodies.

On November 18, police arrested over 20 people on the charge of being involved in online betting during a cricket match between Nepal and the United Arab Emirates played at the TU cricket ground.

On December 20, police arrested two bookies of the world's leading online betting platform from Kathmandu valley for illegally facilitating betting during the FIFA World Cup. The arrested were found transacting over Rs 30 million of the general people's money in six months by using more than 40 bank accounts.

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