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Binance’s false bribery claim diversionary, says Information Minister

"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.

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The Federal Government says it 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.

Many international media organizations have now published a blog post in which Binance Chief Executive Officer Richard Teng falsely accused unidentified Nigerian government officials of bribery, claiming they demanded $150 million in cryptocurrency payments to end the company’s ongoing criminal investigation.

Mr. Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, said this in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Rabiu Ibrahim, in Abuja on Wednesday and copied Persecondnews via email.

It stated: “This claim by Binance CEO 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.

“The investigation into Binance’s use of its platform for money laundering, financing terrorism, and manipulating foreign exchange through illegal trading continues.

“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.

“Just a week ago, 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 is being investigated for in Nigeria. In addition, Zhao agreed to pay a $50 million fine, while Binance is liable for $4.3 billion in fines and forfeitures to the US government.”

The statement added: “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 Nigerian government will continue to act in accordance with its laws and international norms and will not succumb to any form of blackmail from any entity, local or foreign.”

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