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Nigeria ‘Arrests Two Binance Officials’ Amid Accusations of Naira Manipulation

They reportedly visited the country in response to the country’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Nigeria’s federal government has reportedly detained two top executives of Binance, the cryptocurrency trading platform. 

Financial Times reported on Wednesday that the executives flew to  Nigeria but had their passports seized by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

It said the executives visited Nigeria in response to the country’s recent crackdown on various cryptocurrency trading platforms.  

Although the reasons for their detention are unknown, their arrest is coming amid allegation of manipulation in foreign exchange trading in Nigeria.

On June 9, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had said the operation of Binance Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Binance, was illegal

However, Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recently said $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year.

He said there collaboration with SEC, the EFCC,  the police, and of course, the office of the NSA.

Earlier Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on information and strategy, on February 21, 2024, said Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms should be banned from operating in the country.

He said Binance is “blatantly setting exchange rate for Nigeria,” and hijacking the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Meanwhile, despite the federal government and the CBN’s plan to clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, Binance is still operational.

The crypto firm, however, has discontinued the trading of the naira against bitcoin and tether cryptocurrencies on its exchange platform.

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