Binance Ordered To Release Data to EFCC to Aid in Ongoing Investigation

Binance ordered to release data to EFCC to aid in the ongoing investigation. A federal High Court sitting in Abuja has reportedly directed Binance Holdings Limited to provide the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with detailed information in regards to all Nigerians who trade on the company’s platform.

Binance Ordered To Release Data to EFCC

Binance Ordered To Release Data to EFCC

Justice Emeka Nwite issued a directive in an interim ruling on February 29, 2024, following an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance. The judge approved the EFCC’s request, ordering Binance to provide comprehensive data and information regarding all persons from Nigeria trading on its platform.

The motion, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2024, was presented by the EFCC’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, who highlighted elements of criminality linked to Binance’s operations in Nigeria. These alleged violations included contraventions of the EFCC Act, 2004, and Section 15 of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 (as amended).

The Commission Initiated an Investigation Based On Intelligence

In an affidavit, EFCC operative Hamma Bello explained that the Commission initiated an investigation based on intelligence regarding illicit activities on the cryptocurrency exchange platform, such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

The EFCC team conducted surveillance and identified users engaging in illegal activities, including price manipulation and market distortion, which negatively impacted the foreign exchange market and the Naira’s value.

As a result, the EFCC requested Binance to delist the Naira from its trading platform and provide information on Nigerian users’ activities to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). The EFCC provided a document (Exhibit EFCC 1) received from Binance, indicating Nigeria’s total trading volume in 2023 at $21.6 billion.

Justice Nwite’s Ruling

Justice Nwite’s ruling underscores the court’s support for the EFCC’s efforts to combat financial crimes facilitated by cryptocurrency platforms. The interim measure aims to gather crucial data to aid ongoing investigations and prevent further illicit activities detrimental to Nigeria’s economy and national security.

The EFCC has however promised to conclude its investigation soon.



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