Nigeria Denies Binance CEO’s Bribery Claim, Labels It a ‘Diversionary Tactic

Nigeria Denies Binance CEO's Bribery Claim, Labels It a 'Diversion
Binance CEO makes strong allegations, says government officials demand crypto bribe

Nigeria Denies Binance CEO’s Bribery Claim, Labels It a ‘Diversionary Tactic

Nigerian authorities have refuted Binance’s CEO’s allegations regarding soliciting bribes, dismissing the claims as a “diversionary tactic” and “act of blackmail” designed to undermine ongoing legal actions against the company. Binance, renowned as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and two of its executives face separate trials concerning charges of tax evasion and laundering an excess of $35 million, charges which the company vehemently contests.

Tigran Gambaryan, an American citizen and Binance’s head of financial crime compliance remains in custody, while British-Kenyan Nadeem Anjarwalla has fled Nigeria. In a blog post, CEO Richard Teng accused unidentified Nigerian officials of demanding a $150 million cryptocurrency bribe to halt ongoing investigations.

Responding to these allegations, Nigeria’s Information Ministry spokesperson Rabiu Ibrahim rebuffed them, asserting their lack of substance and characterizing them as an attempt by Binance to disrupt the country’s legal proceedings. Ibrahim labeled the accusations a diversionary tactic and blackmail maneuver by a company eager to obscure the serious criminal charges it faces in Nigeria.

He reiterated Nigeria’s stance, emphasizing that Binance is under investigation for purportedly allowing its platform to facilitate money laundering, terrorism financing, and illegal trading in foreign exchange. Nigerian authorities contend that the bribery accusations form part of a broader campaign by Binance to undermine investigations against the company, drawing parallels with its legal challenges in the United States.

While Binance has yet to respond directly to the Nigerian authorities’ statement, it previously accused Nigeria of setting a dangerous precedent following the detention of its executives during talks as part of a crypto industry crackdown. Teng’s blog post adds to the escalating dispute, which led to Binance ceasing operations in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s discontent with Binance escalated further after cryptocurrency platforms emerged as preferred avenues for trading the Nigerian naira amidst persistent dollar shortages. Reacting to the situation, Binance announced in early March that it would halt all transactions and trading involving the naira.

 

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