HomeBinanceNigeria dismisses Binance's bribery accusations as 'blackmail'

Nigeria dismisses Binance’s bribery accusations as ‘blackmail’

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Nigerian Government Denies Binance Bribery Allegations as Baseless and Distracting

The Nigerian government has vehemently denied allegations of bribery made by crypto exchange Binance, calling them baseless and a distraction from the company’s legal troubles in the country. In a press statement released on May 8, the government refuted claims made by Binance CEO Richard Teng that Nigerian officials demanded $150 million in crypto to settle a criminal investigation.

Rabiu Ibrahim, Special Assistant to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, dismissed the allegations as “diversionary tactics” and “blackmail.” The government stated that Binance is under investigation for serious offenses including money laundering, terrorism financing, and illegal foreign exchange trading. It also revealed that a Binance executive is now considered a fugitive with an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol.

Amidst the bribery allegations, Teng also highlighted the detention of Tigran Gambaryan, Binance’s head of financial crime compliance, in Nigeria. Teng condemned Gambaryan’s detention as a tactic to control Binance, stating that the executive was in the country as a functional expert, not a negotiator.

This controversy comes as Nigeria tightens its regulatory measures against crypto trading to protect its currency, the Naira, from manipulation. The government has directed telecommunications providers to restrict access to trading platforms like Binance and OctaFX for local users. Additionally, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission announced plans to remove the Naira from peer-to-peer trading platforms in a broader crackdown on crypto trading.

The Nigerian government emphasized its commitment to following lawful processes and urged Binance to respect judicial proceedings rather than resorting to public relations tactics. It made clear that it will not yield to any form of blackmail from local or foreign entities.

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