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Federal Government Denies Binance CEO’s Bribery Allegations, Vows to Pursue Legal Action

FG denies Binance $150m bribery allegation
Richard Teng, Binance CEO

The Federal Government has vehemently refuted bribery allegations levelled against it by Richard Teng, the CEO of Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency platform.

Teng had accused Nigerian officials of demanding a $150 million cryptocurrency bribe to settle criminal charges against the firm.

The New York Times reported that Teng alleged the demand was made during a visit to Nigeria in January, where Binance officials were confronted with threats of arrest and demands for payment.

The situation escalated when two Binance employees, including Tigran Gambaryan, a former US law enforcement agent, were subsequently arrested and detained by orders of the National Security Adviser.

Gambaryan, who has been held in Kuje Correctional Facility, reportedly wrote a detailed report describing the payment request and alerted contacts within the Nigerian government. However, Nigerian officials have dismissed Teng’s claims as unfounded, with prosecutors vowing to proceed with the case against Binance and its officials.

The case against Binance includes charges of tax evasion and money laundering, with a trial scheduled to begin on May 17. This comes amidst previous legal challenges for Binance, including a $4.3 billion fine imposed by the US government last year.

While Binance has denied any wrongdoing and stressed Gambaryan’s lack of decision-making power within the company, the situation has added to the ongoing legal woes faced by the cryptocurrency platform.

The Federal Government, through spokespersons for the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has affirmed its commitment to pursuing the case based on evidence and due process. They have challenged Teng to substantiate his claims by naming individuals involved in the alleged bribery attempt.

Meanwhile, civil society organizations have called for transparency and accountability, urging Binance to reveal the identities of those who demanded the bribe and for thorough investigations into the matter.

However, Binance has yet to respond to inquiries seeking clarification on the alleged payment demand and the identities of the individuals involved.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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