Sindh to write to federal govt to register Chinese nationals coming by land

Keeping in view the increase in instances of skimming devices being installed on ATMs to steal back account holders’ data, the Sindh government has decided to approach the federal government to register Chinese nationals coming into the province by land.

Quoting Minister for Law Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, a statement issued on Friday said that the provincial government would write to the Centre urging it to enact legislation so that Sindh is able to register and keep a record of Chinese nationals visiting the province.

At present, the Sindh government does not have any data on Chinese nationals living in the province and legislation is needed on a federal level to register such visitors coming through land routes, said Lanjar.

According to the minister, the federal government does have data on Chinese nationals who come through Pakistan via airports but not on those who come through land routes. Moreover, there is no data on the number of Chinese companies operating in the country as well as their businesses.

The law minister further said that Sindh has proposed a policy to the federal government under which any unregistered Chinese national coming to the province via land routes would be required to get an NoC from the provincial home department before attempting to reside or do business in Sindh.

He added that any Chinese national intending to rent a house in the province would also be required to register themselves with the local police station. The statement comes in the wake of the arrest of two Chinese nationals who were caught installing skimmers on ATM in a bank in Saddar earlier this week.

Over the past year, several instances of ATM hacking through installed skimmers – devices that steal ATM card data – have been reported in the country, mostly involving culprits based in China.

In November and December, hundreds of Karachi citizens lost millions of rupees over a couple of weeks after falling prey to compromised ATM machines. The schemers withdrew money in China, while the transactions were made in Pakistan through the fraudulent scheme. According to the Federal Investigation Agency, the perpetrators withdrew money using data of 579 ATM cards. The affected account holders only came to know of the theft when their banks informed them of suspicious transactions.

This was not the first such ATM skimming fraud. On March 20, 2017, two Chinese nationals were apprehended while removing a skimming device from an ATM in Clifton. They had skimmed money from a cash machine near the Teen Talwar locality. Another Chinese man was held in June 2016 in connection with ATM skimming.

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