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FG fires back at Binance CEO's claims of govt officials demanding bribe

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the allegation by the Binance boss was orchestrated to undermine Nigeria.

Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris and Binance CEO, Richard Teng. [Facebook/Getty Images]

The Binance boss's allegation comes after Nigerian authorities detained two top executives of the crypto-currency company on February 28.

This action is linked to an inquiry into suspected unlawful practices and manipulation of foreign exchange rates.

The two individuals currently in custody are Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British Kenyan who oversees Binance's operations in Africa, and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old US national who is responsible for financial crime compliance at Binance.

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Reacting to Teng's claims, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, labelled them a false allegation.

In a statement made available to Pulse through his special assistant, Rabiu Ibrahim, the minister said, "This claim by Binance CEO lacks any iota of substance. It is nothing but a diversionary tactic and an attempted act of blackmail by a company desperate to obfuscate the grievous criminal charges it is facing in Nigeria.

"The facts of this matter remain that Binance is being investigated in Nigeria for allowing its platform to be used for money laundering, terrorism financing, and foreign exchange manipulation through illegal trading.

"While this lawful investigation was going on, an executive of Binance, who was in court-sanctioned protective custody, escaped from Nigeria, and he is now a fugitive from the law. Working with the security agencies in Nigeria, Interpol is currently executing an international arrest warrant on the said fugitive."

The minister continued by saying that the bribery claim made by the Binance boss was "an orchestrated international campaign by this company that is facing criminal prosecution in many countries including the United States, to undermine the Nigerian government."

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