Nigeria Summons Binance CEO Over Allegations

Nigeria Summons Binance CEO Over Allegations

Nigeria Summons Binance CEO Over Allegations

Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has summoned Richard Teng over allegations of money laundering.

Richard Teng, CEO of Binance, has been summoned to appear before the Committee on Financial Crimes of the Nigerian House of Representatives on allegations of money laundering and terrorism financing.

Ginger Onwusibe, chair of the committee, reportedly told Binance’s management on March 1 that they must appear before the committee no later than March 4, 2024, according to Punch, a local news outlet.

On February 27, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) voiced his concerns regarding Binance, claiming that the exchange had “suspicious flows” of funds in 2023.

Nigeria Summons Binance CEO Over Allegations
Screenshot of comment by Nigerian crypto enthusiast. Source: Arinze Maduekwe/X

If Binance disregards the summons, the committee would use its constitutional power to take action, according to Onwusibe’s warning. The committee reportedly requested that Teng come before a hearing on December 18, 2023, in a letter signed by Onwusibe and dated December 12, 2023, as reported by Punch.

Teng was told numerous times not to come, but Onwusibe was disappointed. This, according to Onwusibe, is related to the flagrant disregard for the country’s preexisting legal framework regulating commercial and financial dealings.

Onwusibe reaffirmed the committee’s resolve to fight financial crimes, stressing that they are empowered to do so by the constitution. He singled out cases involving foreign firms as examples of financial crimes that the committee intends to tackle.

As part of its efforts to curb speculation surrounding its fiat currency, the Nigerian naira, the Nigerian government is allegedly cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges. Two senior Binance officials have reportedly been detained in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. As part of its ongoing crackdown on the cryptocurrency exchange, Binance demonetized the naira on Wednesday, February 28.

Users, buyers, and sellers can transact directly with one another using the P2P feature, cutting out the middleman. Following the government’s prohibition on the country’s booming cryptocurrency industry in 2021, when President Muhammadu Buhari was in office, it gained popularity in Nigeria.

Nevertheless, the CBN simultaneously announced regulations for the regulation of virtual asset service providers in December 2023 and repealed a two-year restriction on banks participating in crypto transactions. The second nation to introduce a digital currency issued by its central bank in 2022 was Nigeria. Additionally, in February, the cNGN stablecoin pegged to the naira was introduced in a CBN regulator sandbox by the Africa Stablecoin Consortium.

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