Wednesday, April 17, 2024

House of Reps summons Binance CEO over alleged terrorism financing, money laundering

“The allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering and tax evasion, amongst others, levelled against Binance are damning enough.”

• March 2, 2024
Binance CEO Richard Teng
Binance CEO Richard Teng [Photo: cryptopotato]

The House of Representatives has summoned the chief executive of Binance Holding Limited, Richard Teng, over alleged terrorism financing and money laundering.

The chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes, Ginger Onwusibe, at a panel on Friday, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the firm’s management to appear before it on or before March 4, 2024.

The federal government had clamped down on Binance, where users trade cryptocurrencies, claiming that activities on its platform constituted serious damage to the Nigerian naira and the economy at large.

Mr Onwusibe, however, warned that if Mr Teng fails to show up for the summons, it would be forced to invoke the constitutional powers vested in the committee to take appropriate measures, as he decried his failure to appear for previous invitations.

In a letter dated December 12, 2023, the committee summoned the Binance boss, requesting a hearing on December 18, 2023, to brief the committee on the company’s total disregard for extant laws governing business and financial operations in the country.

Expressing the committee’s resolve to fight financial crimes, the chairman cited the constitution’s provision for protecting Nigerians from such, especially by foreign companies.

“We also have to protect and defend the country’s finances, especially now that the country is nose-diving into recession. The allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering and tax evasion, amongst others, levelled against Binance are damning enough.

“At this material time, we need all the tax dollars to block the leaks and channels to financing terror.

“It is also our duty to do everything in our power to protect Nigerian investors from predatory firms, and no distraction and manipulation can stop us.

“You cannot run a company with over 10 million Nigerians on your platform without paying tax and having a physical office where Nigerians can lodge their complaints when they experience any challenge with your service. The era of exploitation is over, and all culprits must be held accountable,” he added.

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