NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Bitcoin is unwelcome in Bangladesh. The country’s central bank warned today that anyone caught using the digital currency will be jailed.

The destitute South Asian country has strict anti-money laundering laws and is looking to shut down bitcoin exchanges which allow trading of the cryptocurrency.

The Bangladesh Bank issued the stern statement through local media: “Bitcoin is not a legal tender of any country. Any transaction through Bitcoin or any other crypto currency is a punishable offence,” the statement said, according to the Agence France-Presse. Bank officials told AFP violators could be sentenced to up to 12 years in jail.

Bangladesh has been roiled by social unrest, poverty, climate change and famine.

Last month, a Bangladesh bitcoin group became the first Asian affiliate to join the Bitcoin Foundation. The affiliate stated a goal to offer “bitcoin education and resources in Bengali, the official language, and encourage adoption among merchants and consumers.”

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