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House of Reps Summons Binance CEO to Appear in Nigeria by March 4th

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The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Binance Chief Executive Officer, Richard Teng, demanding his appearance before the committee by March 4, 2024.

The summon is in connection with Binance’s alleged involvement in terrorism financing and money laundering.

The Committee Chairman Ginger Onwusibe disclosed this information during a panel session on Friday. The development stands as part of Nigeria’s desperate efforts to clampdown cryptocurrency transactions in the nation.

Onwusibe expressed concern over Binance’s refusal to appear before the committee despite multiple invitations. The committee had formally summoned the Managing Director of Binance through a letter dated December 12, 2023, requesting their appearance for a hearing scheduled on December 18, 2023.

Onwusibe stated that there was a need to address the company’s disregard for existing laws governing business and financial operations in Nigeria.

“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”, he said.

Binance, the largest online cryptocurrency exchange, was previously flagged by the Central Bank of Nigeria for its alleged role in money laundering. The allegations have escalated to include terrorism financing and tax evasion.

The Committee cited the urgency of preserving tax revenue and preventing channels for financing terrorism and warned that failure to comply with the summons would lead to the committee exercising its constitutional powers to take appropriate measures against Binance Holdings.

The development comes against the backdrop of heightened scrutiny of cryptocurrency platforms by Nigerian authorities. This has, in recent times, culminated in detaining two senior Binance executives who flew into Nigeria for negotiations.

 

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