Richard Teng;

CEO of Binance Holding Limited, Richard Teng has been summoned by the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes over the allegations of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The Chairman of the Committee, Ginger Onwusibe, issued a seven-day ultimatum to Binance Holdings bossto appear before the committee by March 4, 2024.

Recall that the federal government banned the major online crypto platforms to avert the continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds, while Binance, an online cryptocurrency exchange, was accused of money laundering by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Onwusibe warned that the committee will take appropriate measures if the Binance head fails to heed the summon.

He criticized Teng for his persistent refusal to attend despite several invitations, highlighting the company’s apparent disregard for the country’s established laws regarding business and financial operations.

The committee, under the chairmanship of Onwusibe, sent a letter dated December 12, 2023, summoning the Managing Director of Binance for a hearing scheduled on December 18, 2023.

Onwusibe emphasized the committee’s determination to combat financial crimes, citing the authority granted by the Nigerian Constitution to safeguard citizens from such offences, particularly those perpetrated by foreign entities.

He highlighted the urgency of protecting the nation’s finances, especially amidst economic challenges like recession, and underscored the seriousness of allegations against Binance, including terrorism financing, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Onwusibe stressed the need to preserve tax revenues and prevent channels for funding terrorism while prioritizing the protection of Nigerian investors from exploitative practices by firms like Binance.

He insisted on accountability for tax payments and the establishment of physical offices for addressing consumer grievances, signalling an end to exploitation and a commitment to holding perpetrators accountable.

Onwusibe said, “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has empowered us to protect Nigerians from financial crimes, especially by foreign companies.

“We also have to protect and defend the country’s finances, especially now that the country is nose-diving into recession. The allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering and tax evasion, amongst others, levelled against Binance, are damning enough.

“At this material time, we need all the tax dollars and to block the leaks and channels to financing terror.

“It is also our duty to do everything in our power to protect Nigerian investors from predatory firms, and no distraction and manipulation can stop us.

“You cannot run a company with over 10 million Nigerians on your platform without paying tax and having a physical office where Nigerians can lodge their complaints when they experience any challenge with your service. The era of exploitation is over, and all culprits must be held accountable.“