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Binance CEO Recounts How Nigerian Officials Demanded $150M Bribe in Cryptocurrency

According to the New York Times, while Tigran Gambaryan, a compliance officer for Binance was on a trip to Nigeria in January, he was told to make a payment of roughly $150 million in crypto within 48 hours.

Binance CEO, Richard Teng has revealed that officials from the Nigerian government demanded a $150 million bribe to have their colleague, Tigran Gambaryan, released from detention.

In a recent blog post, “TIGRAN GAMBARYANIS INNOCENT AND MUST BE RELEASED,”  Teng revealed that employees of Binance were approached by someone claiming to be an agent of members of the committee to make a significant payment in cryptocurrency within 48 hours to have their issue squashed.

“As our employees were leaving the venue, they were approached by unknown persons who suggested to them that they make a payment in settlement of the allegations. Later that day, our local counsel—representing us at that time—was summoned by the Committee through someone purporting to be their agent, who relayed the Committee’s terms and instructed our local counsel to advise us. Counsel reported back that he had been presented with a demand for a significant payment in cryptocurrency to be paid in secret within 48 hours to make these issues go away and that our decision was expected by the morning,” he wrote on his blog.

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According to the New York Times, while Tigran Gambaryan, a compliance officer for Binance, was on a trip to Nigeria in January, he was told to make a payment of roughly $150 million in crypto within 48 hours.

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According to Teng, the fear for their safety heightened, prompting an early departure from Nigeria without honouring the payment demand they perceived as a bribe.

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“Our team grew increasingly concerned about their safety in Nigeria and immediately departed. We, of course, declined the payment demand via our counsel, not viewing it as a legitimate settlement offer,” he stated.

Recall that, in March, the government of Nigeria demanded at least $10 billion as retribution from Binance and detained two of the company’s executives under the guise that the cryptocurrency platform profited substantially from its “illegal transactions” in Nigeria while the nation suffered huge losses.

As part of the government’s efforts, it filed tax evasion charges against Binance in contravention of the country’s Finance Act.

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