Alleged Bribery: Reps Committee demand apology from Binance

Leah TwakiMay 15, 20244 min

The House of Representatives has demanded that Binance Holdings Limited tender an apology to the House and the Nigerian government over alleged bribery allegations.

The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has asked Binance Holdings Limited to tender an apology to the House and Nigeria government for attempting to discredit its integrity through unfounded allegations of bribery.

The Committee, in its report revealed by Rep. Peter Abpanke, said it is ready to invoke and apply its full powers against Binance Holdings Limited and all her allies to ensure that the firm appears before it to answer to the weighty allegations against her.

The House Committee recalled receiving a petition on December 5, 2023 from the Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative, Niger Delta Youth Council and Twenty-one other Civil Society Organisations on irregularities perpetrated by Binance Holdings Limited operations in Nigeria.

According to the Committee, the accusations levelled against Binance were violations of various Nigerian laws, including the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act of 2022, the Investments and Securities Act of 2007, and the Digital Assets Rules of May 2022. 

Additionally, the petition claimed that Binance had evaded taxes and engaged in activities such as facilitating money laundering, terrorism financing, and manipulating the foreign exchange market.

In response to the petition, the House Committee on Financial Crimes initiated proceedings, inviting Binance to clarify the allegations. Despite multiple communications and invitations, Binance initially failed to appear before the Committee. Eventually, a legal counsel representing Binance attended a rescheduled hearing, but the Committee expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s response.

“The House Committee on Financial Crimes immediately commenced action by inviting Binance to appear and give clarifications on the allegations. An invitation letter dated 8th December, 2023 was formally sent via email to Mr. Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer of Binance inviting the Company to appear before the Committee.

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“After series of formal communications between the Committee and Binance, 10th January was fixed as a date for hearing on the matter. The Binance Team through her Counsel requested for a pre-hearing meeting to give them a deeper insight in preparing for the Public Hearing. Thus 8th January was fixed for the Pre-hearing meeting in the National Assembly Complex.

“A six member team from Binance Holdings Limited attended the said meeting. The meeting was open and highly transparent. Detailed facts on the allegations against Binance Holdings were read out to which the Binance Team admitted that they had grossly defaulted. The Binance Team was directed to appear on 10th January, 2024 for the Public Hearing.

“On 10th January, 2024 the Binance Team failed to appear before the Committee as it had earlier forwarded a request for extension of time to enable the Company prepare properly. The Committee was therefore constrained to write Binance Holdings Limited for a rescheduled date for the Public Hearing.

“On the rescheduled date, Binance Holdings sent a legal Counsel to represent them. The Committee frowned at such disregard from Binance, it therefore directed Binance to appear formally and properly on 4th March, 2024. Again Binance failed to appear but sent a legal Counsel.”

The Committee insisted that all the interactions with Binance Holdings Limited were formal, open and very transparent.

“The Committee never met with the Binance Team outside the National Assembly, neither did the Committee delegate any individual or entity to meet with the Binance Team on its behalf for any purpose.”

The Committee further noted that during the course of the investigation, it formally engaged the Federal Inland Revenue Service to assess Binance’s tax liabilities. However, the exact extent of Binance’s tax evasion was not disclosed.

The House Committee therefore resolved that all the relevant Agencies of government be invited to determine the extent of Binance’s default and the relevant punitive measures to be taken against Binance Holdings Limited including stipulated fines to be paid.

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

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