Binance CEO Ignores Nigerian Summons

By Mark Hunter

1 day agoTue Mar 05 2024 11:09:33

Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Binance CEO Richard Teng has ignored a summons from Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes
Teng was ordered to appear before the house on March 4 but did not make the trip
Chairman Ginger Onwusibe emphasized that “all culprits must be held accountable” for crypto-related financial crimes

New Binance CEO Richard Teng has ignored a summons from Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes following the arrest of two company executives last week. Teng was ordered to appear before the house on March 4 to answer questions about alleged money laundering and terrorism financing involving Binance but he did not make the trip. The demand came from chairman Ginger Onwusibe, who claimed on Friday that “all culprits must be held accountable” in the matter of crypto-related financial crimes in the country.

Binance Red-flagged
Binance had already been red-flagged by the Central Bank of Nigeria for its alleged involvement in money laundering and other illicit activities when Onwusibe made his comments. The group chairman emphasized the gravity of the situation, warning that if Binance Holdings fails to heed the summon, the committee will not hesitate to exercise its constitutional powers to take appropriate actions.

The demand came in the wake of the arrests of two Binance executives in the country and a demand that Binance pay $10 million in restitution for allowing financial crimes to take place through its platform on Nigerian soil. Expressing dismay over the reluctance of Teng to attend despite repeated invitations, Onwusibe stressed the significance of adherence to extant laws governing business and financial operations in Nigeria:

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 committee had previously issued a summons to the Managing Director of Binance in a letter dated December 12, 2023, requesting a hearing six days later. However, Binance’s non-compliance has fueled concerns and intensified the committee’s resolve to combat financial crimes.

Teng Yet to Comment
Highlighting the committee’s duty to safeguard Nigerian investors and protect the country’s finances, particularly amidst economic challenges and allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering, and tax evasion against Binance, Onwusibe emphasized the urgency of the matter:

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 leveled against Binance are damning enough.

Teng has so far refused to comment on Nigeria’s claims, but with the two executives still under arrest we can expect a response soon.

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