• Friday, May 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FG refutes Binance’s claim of bribe request

FG refutes Binance’s claim of bribe request

The Federal Government of Nigeria has refuted Binance’s claim that government officials requested bribes as a solution to all its problems in Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by Rabiu Ibrahim, Special Assistant to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, “the Federal Government of Nigeria is aware of attempts by Binance to launder its impaired image as an organisation that does not play by the rules and laws guiding business conduct in sovereign nations.

“Richard Teng, Binance’s chief executive officer, made false allegations of bribery against unidentified Nigerian government officials who he claimed demanded $150m in cryptocurrency payments to resolve the ongoing criminal investigation against the company,” it said.

Read also: We were asked for a bribe to settle Nigerian case — Binance CEO

The statement noted that the claim lacked substance and was a “diversionary tactic and an attempted act of blackmail by a company desperate to obfuscate the grievous criminal charges it is facing in Nigeria.”

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Tigran Gambaryan, a compliance officer with the exchange, was told that the company had 48 hours to make a payment of roughly $150m in cryptocurrency, on a trip to Nigeria in January.

Gambaryan, a former United States law enforcement agent, understood the message as a request for a bribe from someone in the Nigerian government.

Read also: Binance: $35m money laundering trial stalled, court adjourns till May 17

He then submitted a report describing the payment request to Binance’s lawyers. This issue is one of the many woes that have befallen the cryptocurrency exchange in the past few months.

“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 statement by Ibrahim added.