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Binance CEO Richard Teng Summoned In Nigeria Over Alleged Financial Crimes

A Nigerian financial crimes committee has summoned Binance CEO Richard Teng on suspicions of money laundering and terrorism financing, local newspaper Punch reported.

Ginger Onwusibe, chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes, issued an ultimatum for Teng to appear before the committee on or before March 5, Punch said.

A failure to honor the ultimatum would compel the committee to take further action, Onwusibe said.

The Governor of the central bank had raised concerns about the world’s biggest crypto exchange on Feb. 27, flagging what it called suspicious movements of funds through the trading platform last year.

Teng has been summoned multiple times before, but not heeded the call, according to local media reports. Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission made headlines in June last year by declaring the exchange’s operations illegal,

And in a Dec. 12 letter, the committee summoned a Binance managing director for a hearing to be held six days later, without show.

Binance Accused Of Contributing To NGN Devalution

The Premium Times and BBC reported that Binance was “also accused of operating a business worth billions without the requisite registrations and documentation.”

The authorities said that the crypto exchange’s “illegal transactions” have contributed to the devaluation of the country’s national currency, the Nigerian Naira.

Local media cited officials as saying Binance is cooperating with its enquiries, sharing valuable information and halting transactions involving the Naira on its platform. Binance users in Nigeria are currently not accessing peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Nigeria Doubles Down On War Against Financial Crime

The action is being taken to protect the “country’s finances, especially now that the country is nose-diving into recession,” said Onwusibe.

The committee accused Binance of running a company with more than 10 million Nigerian customer without paying tax or having an office in the country to handle complaints.

An earlier report that the government would impose a $10 billion fine on Binance was denied by Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to the Nigerian president on information and strategy. The exchange also said it had not had any discussions with officials about such a fine, the People’s Gazette reported.

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