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House Committee Recommends Arrest of Binance CEO over Alleged Financial Crimes

House Committee Recommends Arrest of Binance CEO over Alleged Financial Crimes

By Matthew Eloyi

In a significant development, the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has recommended the arrest of the Chief Executive Officer of Binance Holding Ltd over alleged tax invasion and money laundering in Nigeria.

This recommendation emerged following a motion by Rep. Isah Dogonyaro (APC- Jigawa state) during a public hearing in Abuja on Monday.

The hearing was centred on a petition filed by the Empowerment Fund for Nigerian Youth Initiative and the Niger Delta Youth Council of Nigeria, outlining various crimes allegedly committed by Binance, an online financial company operating in Nigeria’s cyberspace for over six years with a user base of more than 20 million Nigerians.

Rep. Dogonyaro highlighted that despite invitations, the CEO of Binance failed to appear before the committee to address concerns regarding terrorism, tax evasion, and money laundering. The committee granted another opportunity for the CEO to appear on March 4, 2024, but this was not honoured.

In response, Binance’s Legal Council, Mr. Senator Ihenyen, stated that the company had responded in writing to all allegations and was willing to provide further written explanations during the hearing. However, he expressed concern over the safety of the company’s officials in Nigeria following the recent arrest of two senior officials by the office of the National Security Adviser.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Ginger Obinna (LP-Abia), ruled that the committee had decided not to entertain legal representation from Binance. He declared the committee’s intention to recommend to the House invoking its constitutional powers by issuing a subpoena and a warrant for the arrest of Binance executives to answer questions regarding terrorism, money laundering, and other financial crimes outlined in the petition.

Rep. Obinna commended the petitioners for uncovering serious financial crimes and the exploitation of 20 million young Nigerians over the past six years.

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