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EFCC begins investigation as court orders Binance to release Nigeria traders’ data



EFCC begins investigation as court orders Binance to release Nigeria traders' data

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered Binance Holdings Limited to provide the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with detailed information on Nigerian traders who use its platform.

The EFCC filed an ex parte motion seeking data on Nigerian Binance users, which resulted in this ruling.

The suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2024, was filed on February 29 under various sections of the Economic and Financial Crimes Establishment Act of 2004 and the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act of 2022 (as amended).

In support of the motion, an EFCC operative, Hamma Bello, stated in an affidavit that the commission’s Special Investigation Team, which is housed in the Office of the National Security Adviser, received intelligence indicating that illicit financial activities, such as money laundering and terrorism financing, were occurring on Binance.

He said, “On receipt of the intelligence, the team began an investigation by conducting surveillance of the activities of the platform.

“The team uncovered users who have been using the platform for price discovery, confirmation, and market manipulation, which has caused tremendous distortions in the market, resulting in the naira losing its value against other currencies.

“The damage the platform has caused was clearly explained to the operators of the platform, and they were requested to delist the Naira and avail the ONSA of the activities of the Nigerians on their platform.

“The information afforded to the team by Binance shows trading volume from Nigeria in 2023 alone stood at $21.6bn.”

Bello stated that the requested data would assist the commission in completing its investigation.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the interim order in the certified true copy of the ruling, which was delivered on February 29 but made available to journalists on Monday.

He said, “The applicant’s application, dated and filed on February 29, 2024, is hereby granted as prayed.

“That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing the operators of Binance to provide the commission with comprehensive data and information relating to all persons from Nigeria trading on its platform.”

Olayemi Cardoso, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, revealed at a press briefing following the 293rd meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee in Abuja in February that more than $26 billion was channelled through Binance without trace in the previous year.

On February 28, the Financial Times reported that two company executives were arrested and detained after flying into the country due to a ban on their website.

Lawrence is a dynamic digital journalist known for his expertise in creating SEO-focused content that drives business success. Alongside his journalism career, he also serves as an AI tutor, leveraging his knowledge to educate and empower others in the field. Lawrence graduated from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic with an HND in Mass Communication and has had his work referenced in Wikipedia and various online media outlets.