Nigerian government opens up on asking for $150 million bribe from Binance to end tax evasion charges

The Federal Government (FG) has stated that the bribery against unidentified Nigerian government officials by Binance Chief Executive Officer Richard Teng is diversionary.

The Minister of of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji-Mohammed Idris made this known in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Rabiu Ibrahim on Wednesday in Abuja.

Recall that on Tuesday Teng alleged that Nigerian authorities demanded the sum of $150million in cryptocurrency as a bribe to make the money laundering trial initiated against two of its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, go away.

Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and head of financial crime and Anjarwalla, a British Kenyan, are currently facing trial for laundering more than $35 million in Nigeria.

Reacting to the allegations levelled against the government, Ibrahim said the claim is part of an orchestrated international campaign by Binance to undermine the Nigerian government.

“The Organisation made false allegations of bribery against unidentified Nigerian Government officials, who it claimed, demanded 150 million dollar in cryptocurrency payments to resolve the ongoing criminal investigation against the company.

“This claim by Binance lacks any iota of substance. It is nothing but a diversionary tactic and an attempted act of blackmail by a company desperate to obfuscate the grievous criminal charges it is facing in Nigeria.

“While this lawful investigation was going on, an executive of Binance, who was in court-sanctioned protective custody, escaped from Nigeria, and he is now a fugitive from the law.
“Working with the security agencies in Nigeria, Interpol is currently executing an international arrest warrant on the said fugitive.

“The phantom bribe claim is part of an orchestrated international campaign by this company that is facing criminal prosecution in many countries including the United States, to undermine the Nigerian Government,” Idris said.

The Minister recalled that, a week back, the founder and former CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, was sentenced to prison in the United States, after pleading guilty to charges very similar to what Binance was being investigated for in Nigeria.

He added that Zhao agreed to pay a fine of 50 million dollar, while Binance is liable for 4.3 billion dollar in fines and forfeitures to the US Government.

“We would like to remind Binance that it will not clear its name in Nigeria by resorting to fictional claims and mudslinging media campaigns.

“The only way to resolve its issues will be by submitting itself to unobstructed investigation and judicial due process.

“The Federal Government will continue to act within its laws and international norms, and will not succumb to any form of blackmail from any entity, local or foreign,” Idris stressed.

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