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Nigeria Detains 2 Binance Executives in Cryptocurrency Crackdown

Two top executives at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, have been detained in Nigeria, per a Financial Times (FT) report.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report says the executives flew into Nigeria following the government’s decision to ban several crypto platforms but were detained by the country’s national security adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, with their passports seized.

With the naira’s continuous devaluation against the dollar and other foreign currencies, the Nigerian government is going after cryptocurrency trading websites, which it accuses of manipulating the country’s foreign exchange market, causing dollar shortages.

The Nigerian government obtained a court warrant to detain the officials for at least twelve days for failing to meet some of the demands by the authorities in a meeting, according to Premium Times.

The authorities were demanding to see a list of Binance’s Nigerian users since its inception and data relating to transactions in naira on the trading platform in the last seven years, but the officials refused to cooperate.

In response to the detention of its executives, Binance has discontinued the trading of the naira against bitcoin and tether cryptocurrencies on its website. Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to President Tinubu, said the authorities went after Binance because it “hijacked the role of the country’s central bank.”

Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.

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