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Reps to question Binance boss over alleged terrorism financing

The Nigerian government accused Binance of facilitating $26bn in suspicious transactions on its platforms.

Reps to question Binance boss over alleged terrorism financing

The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has summoned the Chief Executive of Binance Holding Limited, Richard Teng, to answer questions on the allegations of terrorism financing and money laundering.

The Federal Government is clamping down on the cryptocurrency platform after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) flagged it for arbitrary fixing of foreign exchange rates and manipulation.

The government also alleged that currency speculators and money launderers were using the crypto website to execute criminal activities.

Reports say two executives of Binance were detained by the Federal Government in connection to an alleged fraudulent transaction to the tune of $26bn on the platform.

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Meanwhile, speaking during a panel session on Friday, March 1, 2024, the House committee chairman, Ginger Onwusibe, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the management of Binance Holdings Limited to appear before the committee.

This is hardly the first time the committee has summoned the Managing Director of Binance.

Onwusibe decried the refusal of a series of invitations to Tang to brief the committee, relating to the total disregard for extant laws governing business and financial operations in the country.

In a letter dated December 12, 2023, and signed by its chairman, the committee requested a hearing on December 18, 2023, but the notice was not honoured.

Therefore, Onwusibe warned that if the company failed to honour the fresh invitation, the committee would be forced to invoke the constitutional powers vested in it.

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He said, “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has empowered us to protect Nigerians from financial crimes, especially by foreign companies.

“We also have to protect and defend the country’s finances, especially now that the country is nose-diving into recession. The allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering and tax evasion amongst others levelled against Binance are damning enough.

“At this material time, we need all the tax dollars and to block the leaks and channels to financing terror.”

He added, “It is also our duty to do everything in our power to protect Nigerian investors from predatory firms, and no distraction and manipulation can stop us.

“You cannot run a company with over 10 million Nigerians on your platform without paying tax and having a physical office where Nigerians can lodge their complaints when they experience any challenge with your service. The era of exploitation is over and all culprits must be held accountable.

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