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Reps summon Binance boss over alleged terrorism financing

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The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has summoned the CEO of Binance Holding Limited, Richard Teng, over alleged terrorism financing and money laundering.

On Friday, at a panel, the committee’s chairman, Ginger Onwusibe, issued a seven-day ultimatum to Binance Holdings LTD. management to come before the committee on or before March 4, 2024.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has highlighted Binance, an online exchange where users trade cryptocurrencies, as being involved in money laundering, among other things.

However, Onwusibe warned that if Binance Holdings fails to respond to the summons, the committee will be forced to use its constitutional powers to take appropriate action.

He condemned Teng, the CEO of Binance Holding Limited, for refusing to appear despite a series of invitations to brief the committee on the company’s complete contempt for existing rules controlling commercial and financial operations in the country.

The committee summoned Binance’s Managing Director in a letter dated December 12, 2023, written by its chairman, Onwusibe, asking for a hearing on December 18, 2023.

Onwusibe, while restating the committee’s determination to combat financial crimes, underlined that “the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has empowered “us to protect Nigerians from financial crimes, 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, among others, leveled against Binance are damning enough.

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

He added, “We also must do everything in our power to protect Nigerian investors from predatory firms, and no distraction or 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.”

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