FG Asks For 6 Months Of Transaction Data From Nigeria’s Top 100 Binance Users

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
3 Min Read

The federal government has requested information from Binance about its top 100 users in the country and all transaction history from the past six months, according to the Financial Times.

This request is a key part of the ongoing negotiations between Binance and Nigeria. Two of Binance’s top executives have been held by Nigerian authorities for the last three weeks.

In February 2024, Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, suggested that Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms should be prohibited from operating in Nigeria.

Onanuga accused Binance of unfairly controlling the exchange rate in Nigeria and taking over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s role.

On February 27, CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso stated that $26 billion had flowed through Binance from unknown sources.

Cardoso mentioned that the central bank was working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and security agencies to prevent any manipulation in the foreign exchange (FX) market.

On March 8, Binance stopped all transactions in naira on its platform after reports emerged that the government was seeking $10 billion in restitution for profiting from “illegal transactions” in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) is asking Binance to settle any outstanding tax obligations, as per documents from the Financial Times.

The government aims to boost confidence in the naira and stabilize the FX rate.

Meanwhile, the two executives who were detained have been identified as Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old national of the United Kingdom and Kenya who is Binance’s regional manager for Africa; and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old United States citizen who is Binance’s head of financial crime compliance.

Anjarwalla and Gambaryan flew into Nigeria but had their passports confiscated by the ONSA.

According to the Financial Times, the executives are currently being held at a guest house in Abuja near the national security adviser’s office. Their phones were also taken when they were detained, but they have not been charged with any crimes.

Based on court documents, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was given permission to detain both Binance executives for 14 days. This period was supposed to end on Tuesday but has been extended until Wednesday.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.