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Binance CEO Summonsed by Nigerian Committee Over Allegations of Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering

The Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has issued a summons to Richard Teng, the Chief Executive Officer of Binance Holding Limited, over allegations of terrorism financing and money laundering. The move comes amid increasing scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges, with the Central Bank of Nigeria flagging Binance for its alleged involvement in money laundering.

Chairman Ginger Onwusibe, leading the Committee, delivered a stern ultimatum during a panel on Friday, giving the management of Binance Holdings LTD. a seven-day window to appear before the committee on or before March 4, 2024. Onwusibe warned that failure to comply would force the committee to invoke constitutional powers to take appropriate measures.

Binance CEO Richard Teng

The Committee expressed deep concern over the refusal of Richard Teng to appear before them despite multiple invitations. Onwusibe lamented the Chief Executive’s total disregard for the extant laws governing business and financial operations in the country.

This latest development follows a letter dated December 12, 2023, where the committee summoned the Managing Director of Binance, requesting a hearing on December 18, 2023. Teng’s failure to comply has heightened tensions, leading to the committee’s decision to escalate the matter.

Adding to the gravity of the situation, reports indicate that the National Security Adviser’s office has detained two senior Binance officials in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. This move aligns with the government’s broader crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges in an effort to regulate and control the speculation surrounding the Nigerian naira, the country’s fiat currency.

Binance, an online exchange known for facilitating the trading of cryptocurrencies, removed the naira from its peer-to-peer (P2P) service on February 28. This action occurred in the midst of the government’s intensified efforts to rein in crypto exchanges operating within its borders.

The unfolding events underscore the challenges faced by cryptocurrency platforms in navigating regulatory landscapes globally. As the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes seeks answers from Binance’s CEO, the cryptocurrency community is closely watching the developments, keen to understand the potential implications for the industry in Nigeria and beyond.

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