Alleged Terrorism Financing: court directs Binance to release data to EFCC

Alleged Terrorism Financing: court directs Binance to release data to EFCC

Binance Holdings Limited has been directed by Justice Emeka Nwite of a federal high court sitting in Abuja to furnish the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with extensive data or information concerning all individuals from Nigeria engaging in trading activities on its platform.

This directive stemmed from an ex-parte motion presented by the EFCC’s legal representative, Ekele Iheanacho. As outlined in the motion sworn by Hamma Bello, an EFCC operative attached to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the commission within the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), it was revealed that the EFCC received intelligence regarding suspicious activities, specifically money laundering and terrorism financing, on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Bello further elaborated that upon receiving this intelligence, the investigative team commenced surveillance of the platform’s activities. They uncovered users who were engaged in price discovery, confirmation, and market manipulation, leading to significant market distortions and the devaluation of the Naira against other currencies.

According to Bello, data obtained from Binance revealed that the total trading volume from Nigeria in 2023 alone amounted to $21.6 billion. This information was documented and presented to the ONSA, as evidenced by Exhibit EFCC 1.

Emphasizing the urgency of the matter, Bello stressed that providing the requested data was crucial for the EFCC to effectively conduct its investigative activities. Failure to comply with the request would severely impede the commission’s investigation efforts.

In response to the application, Justice Nwite granted the request, stating, “The applicant’s application dated and filed 29th February, 2024, is hereby granted as prayed.” Consequently, the court ordered the operators of Binance to furnish the commission with comprehensive data and information pertaining to all individuals from Nigeria involved in trading on its platform.

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