The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) called on both citizens and residents to exercise caution and avoid remitting money abroad through channels not licensed by the bank.
With particular reference to ‘Bkash’, a statement said that the application is not approved by the apex bank for international money transfer.
“It is illegal and criminal to engage in unlicensed money transfer activities as per the Omani law. Customers who rely on these channels would make them vulnerable to fraud and loss of money,” it said in the statement.
In Oman, collecting and transferring money without a licence is considered as a violation of the provisions of tthe National Payment System Law, Omani Banking Law, Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing ((AML/CFT), and other laws.
BKash is a mobile financial service used in an Asian country enabling its users to deposit money into their mobile accounts and then access a range of services, in particular transferring and receiving money domestically, making payments and recharging mobiles.
“In Oman, such money transfers are prohibited by law. Anyone dealing in such cryptocurrencies and similar products will be doing so at their own risk and responsibility and will attract fine and imprisonment. Cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender in Oman,” said Jose Chacko, Partner, Crowe Oman.
In July this year, the Central Bank had issued a cautionary notice warning the public against an increase in certain fraudulent practices originating from foreign and local sources.
It warned the public that users, holders and traders of cryptocurrencies and similar products may be exposed to potential financial, operational, legal and security related risks, in addition to the lack of customer protection.