Nigeria vs Binance: Lawmaker Denies $140M Bribery Claim

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Nigeria vs Binance: Lawmaker Denies $140M Bribery Claim
  • Nigeria’s Financial Crimes Committee Chairman Ginger Onwusibe dismisses Binance’s $140 million bribery claims
  • Onwusibe refutes the claims, calling them false, fabricated, and an attempt to blackmail
  • The Committee Chairman adds that Binance’s alleged criminal act is a global issue

The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes Chairman, Ginger Onwusibe, vehemently denied Binance’s recent claim that Nigerian authorities solicited a $140 million bribe. In a press conference, Onwusibe dismissed the allegation as a bald-faced attempt at blackmail, accusing the cryptocurrency exchange of trying to obscure the facts.

The arrest of two Binance executives in February 2024, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, on suspicion of involvement in a $26 billion illicit fund transaction, sparked a significant controversy. The executives were detained and had their passports seized, but they subsequently filed lawsuits against Nigerian authorities, alleging violations of their fundamental rights.

Further flaming tensions, Binance CEO Richard Teng recently made a serious allegation against Nigeria, claiming that officials demanded a bribe of $140 million to settle the case. The Committee on Financial Crimes, however, strongly refuted Binance’s claims, calling them a distraction tactic and a form of extortion.

Onwusibe emphatically stated during the press conference, “There were absolutely no solicitations or demands of any kind made by representatives of the Committee towards Binance at any point.” He vehemently rejected Binance’s accusations, characterizing them as fabricated and designed to deflect attention from the serious criminal charges the company faces.

“We refuse to be diminished or deflated by the shenanigans of Binance and other enemies of Nigeria…We recognise that the blackmail by Binance is merely an attempt to distract and draw attention away from the serious allegations of criminality against it which is now compounded by its role in the security breach of the sovereign Nigerian State.”

Onwusibe then elaborated on Nigeria’s efforts to combat cryptocurrency-related crimes. He highlighted the ongoing investigations by various regulatory agencies, including the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Onwusibe emphasized that Binance’s alleged criminal activities are not just a Nigerian concern, but a global issue requiring international cooperation.

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