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Binance Says It Restricted 281 Nigerian Accounts in 2022

The largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, stated that it restricted 281 accounts belonging to Nigerians in 2022 due to money laundering concerns.

The exchange said it also collaborated with the Federal Government to protect users from illicit activity.

This information was disclosed in a statement published on its website on Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, Binance announced its decision to stop naira-to-dollar exchange services following a fallout with Nigerian authorities, who had accused the platform of manipulating the country’s foreign exchange rate.

The exchange mentioned that its team visited Nigeria twice in the fourth quarter, conducting comprehensive law enforcement training sessions for officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

With over 30 investigators in attendance for each full-day session, Binance said it provided a detailed overview of its operations, training Nigerian law enforcement on the intricacies of exchanges in the digital asset ecosystem.

“During these sessions, various case studies were presented, including those involving suspects from Nigeria. The positive feedback received from Nigerian investigators underscored their strong desire to sustain this cooperative format, the platform noted.

“Binance’s financial crime compliance teams processed 626 information requests related to Nigeria or from local law enforcement agencies between June 2020 and February 2024.

“The Nigeria Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and INTERPOL Nigeria were among the many organisations that benefited from the information we supplied in their efforts to combat crimes ranging from money laundering, kidnapping, extortion, and scams,” it said.

The exchange also conducted a three-hour online workshop for 70 EFCC officials in August 2023. The workshop’s main objectives were to interpret Binance’s operational responses and determine how best to use our help.

“We worked closely with the authorities to safeguard users from illegal activity in a well-publicised action that occurred in January 2022, restricting 281 accounts that belonged to Nigerian residents because of worries about money laundering,” it added.

The crypto exchange recognises Nigeria’s thriving fintech ecosystem, anticipating that nearly half of all investments in Africa from 2019 to 2023 will be directed to the country.

“Operating alongside established global players like Binance is deemed vital for the cohesive growth of this ecosystem, fostering a supportive environment for dynamic local startups,” the company noted.

Binance explained that collaboration with regulators and law enforcement in Nigeria would accelerate its financial technology adoption.

According to the exchange, the suggestion is to rely on top-tier partners with a proven track record of productive partnerships with both Nigerian and international authorities.

Looking ahead, Binance expressed eagerness to continue positive interactions, aiming to contribute to the prosperity of every Nigerian through ongoing collaboration and support for the nation’s fintech evolution.

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