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Central Bank of Nigeria Claims Binance Facilitated Illegal Transactions

Summary:
As the Nigerian SEC’s money laundering case against Binance continues, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on July 5 claimed that the exchange facilitated illegal transactions. According to Dr Olubukola Akinwunmi, Head of Payment Policy and Regulation at the CBN, Binance conducted banking and financial services without appropriate authorizations. Dr Akinwunmi testified in the Federal High Court of Abuja in front of Judge Emeka Nwite that the services Binance offered are reserved for banking entities and licensed financial entities. Binance, without licensing, offered peer-to-peer asset exchange services and allowed Nigerians to convert Naira into dollars, another big no-no according to the CBN’s representative. Moreover, it lets users indulge in these services without collecting KYC

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As the Nigerian SEC’s money laundering case against Binance continues, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on July 5 claimed that the exchange facilitated illegal transactions. According to Dr Olubukola Akinwunmi, Head of Payment Policy and Regulation at the CBN, Binance conducted banking and financial services without appropriate authorizations.

Dr Akinwunmi testified in the Federal High Court of Abuja in front of Judge Emeka Nwite that the services Binance offered are reserved for banking entities and licensed financial entities. Binance, without licensing, offered peer-to-peer asset exchange services and allowed Nigerians to convert Naira into dollars, another big no-no according to the CBN’s representative. Moreover, it lets users indulge in these services without collecting KYC data—something that is a mandate for financial service providers in the country.

To that end, Binance is allegedly responsible for $35 million in illicit transactions and money laundering, charges that still have one Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, locked up in Nigerian prison. The other accused, Nadeem Anjarwalla, managed to flee the country a few months ago.

US Senators even visited Gambaryan in June to find him struggling of ill health. He has suffered double pneumonia and malaria during his stint at Kuje Prison, a facility known to house members of Boko Haram and similar notoriety. They demanded Nigeria set him free and let Binance deal with the legal issues, as he is not a decision-maker for the company.

Judge Nwite ordered prison officials to release reports from Gambaryan’s visit to a hospital during the hearing, which she did at the previous hearing. However, prison officials have not done so yet. Gambaryan’s legal team has requested it numerous times. His family states that the prison is ignoring his health deterioration beyond keeping him behind bars without adequate reason.

The next hearing is on July 16, when the court will hear the defense.

Image by Qubes Pictures from Pixabay

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