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Nigeria demands Binance disclose top users, executives remain detained


Nigeria is actively seeking information from Binance regarding its top 100 users in the country and all transaction history spanning the past six months, according to a Financial Times report.

This news overlaps with the revelation of the names of the two executives from the cryptocurrency exchange who were detained two weeks ago: Tigran Gambaryan, Binance’s head of investigations, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the crypto platform’s regional manager for Africa, the Wired reported today.

Last month, Gambaryan, who was a former crypto-focused U.S. federal agent, and Anjarwalla had their passports confiscated and have been held in confinement at a government facility in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Their detainment is part of Nigeria’s broader crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges, coinciding with questionable efforts by the government to revive the naira, the country’s national currency.

Before Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen, and Anjarwalla, a dual citizen of the U.K. and Kenya, were detained, both officials honored an invitation from the Nigerian government to discuss Binance operations and the restrictions it imposed on the cryptocurrency exchange. According to Nigeria’s apex bank, the country was losing out on taxes from unregistered crypto exchanges and accused Binance, which it says is operating illegally, of facilitating “illicit flows from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify” to the tune of $26 billion.

As a result, the detained executives may allegedly face charges related to currency manipulation, tax evasion, and illegal operations, per a Bloomberg report. However, both families report that neither individual has been formally charged with any criminal offenses. FT says Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency was granted permission to detain both Binance executives for 14 days, which concluded on Tuesday; there’s a proposed hearing to extend the court order scheduled for Wednesday.

Nigeria’s request for Binance’s top users in the country is a focal point in negotiations between the largest crypto platform and the top African crypto market. The period under review is critical because it corresponds with Nigeria’s currency devaluation timeline. Meanwhile, documents reviewed by FT reveal that Nigeria, through its national security adviser, has requested that Binance address any outstanding tax liabilities.



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