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Binance CEO alleges Nigerian officials demand payments to resolve issues with FG

Binance CEO Richard Teng has revealed a concerning encounter with Nigerian government officials, alleging that they sought substantial payments in digital currency to resolve issues faced by the cryptocurrency exchange. Teng disclosed this in a recent blog post, where he stated that Binance’s legal representatives firmly rejected the proposition put forward by these undisclosed officials.

The backdrop to this revelation stems from a series of events beginning on February 28, when two senior executives of Binance were detained by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) amid investigations into alleged illegal activities and manipulation of foreign exchange rates. Among those detained were Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan individual serving as Binance’s regional manager for Africa, and Tigran Gambaryan, a US citizen occupying the role of Binance’s head of financial crime compliance.

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Subsequently, on March 25, the Federal Government of Nigeria filed criminal charges against Binance, citing “tax evasion.” During this period, Anjarwalla managed to escape detention.

Teng shed light on Binance’s efforts to engage with Nigerian authorities, recounting a meeting held on January 8 in Abuja, during which the exchange was confronted with criminal accusations. Despite repeated requests, Binance claims it has yet to receive detailed allegations from the authorities, making it difficult for the company to mount a comprehensive response. Teng emphasized the importance of understanding the allegations fully and preparing a substantive response.



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Following the meeting, Binance’s employees were approached by unidentified individuals who suggested making a clandestine payment to settle the allegations. Later, the exchange’s local counsel was summoned and presented with a demand for a significant cryptocurrency payment to purportedly resolve the issues swiftly and discreetly. This demand was swiftly declined by Binance via its legal representation, with the exchange insisting that any settlement negotiations must be transparent, documented, and officially endorsed by all relevant parties.

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Expressing concerns for the safety of its team in Nigeria, Binance decided to withdraw from the situation promptly. Teng reiterated Binance’s willingness to engage in settlement talks provided that the allegations are clearly presented and that any resolution is formalized through official channels.

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