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Friday, April 12, 2024

FG Arrests Binance Officials Amid Cryptocurrency Clampdown

The Federal Government has reportedly detained two top executives of cryptocurrency trading platform, Binance.

The executives came to Nigeria on Wednesday but had their passports seized by the Office of the National Security Adviser, according to Financial Times.

The report said the executives visited Nigeria in response to the country’s recent crackdown on various cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Although the reasons for their detention are unknown, their arrest is coming amid allegation of manipulation in foreign exchange trading in Nigeria.

Recall that the Special Adviser to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, on February 21, said Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms should be banned from operating in the country.

READ ALSO: Naira Will Bleed If We Don’t Clamp Down On Crypto Platforms — Onanuga To CBN, EFCC

He said Binance is “blatantly setting exchange rate for Nigeria,” and hijacking the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He had called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the CBN to move against the platforms, adding that the firms are trying to “manipulate our national currency to ground zero.”

Similarly, on February 27, Olayemi Cardoso, Governor of the CBN, said $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year.

Cardoso said the apex bank is collaborating with the SEC to ensure there is no manipulation in the FX market.

He said there was also collaboration between the different agencies which includes the EFCC, the police, and of course, the office of the NSA.

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