Two Binance executives arrested in Nigeria

Two Binance executives in Nigeria have been arrested and their passports seized by Nigerian national security. The two Binance executives had travelled to Nigeria in an attempt to relaunch the exchange, which had been blocked a few days earlier by the Nigerian authorities.

Two Binance executives arrested in Nigeria

Nigerian authorities are stepping up the pressure on crypto exchanges operating in the country. According to information from the Financial Times, two executives of the crypto exchange Binance were arrested in Nigeria by the office of the country’s National Security Advisor. According to sources close to the case, the passports of two of the platform’s executives were also seized.

The identities of two Binance arrested in Nigeria have not been revealed. We do know, however, that they were on their way to Nigeria to try to rescue Binance which is in difficulty in Nigeria. Indeed, the Nigerian government has ordered telecom providers to block access to the country’s main crypto platforms, including Binance. The government justifies this measure by the need to combat the alleged manipulation of the Naira the national currency.

Nigerians are currently facing one of the worst economic crises in years. The inflation rate in January 2024 reached 29.9%, its highest level in almost three decades. In 2023, the Nigerian national currency lost 230% of its value against the US dollar. For the Nigerian authorities, there is no doubt that crypto exchanges have a role to play in this crisis, particularly with regard to the value of the national currency against the dollar.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) charges Binance

In the wake of the arrest of two executives of BinanceThe Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank held a press conference on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. During the conference, Olayemi Cardoso cited by name Binance as an actor circulating suspicious funds. According to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 26 billion in untraceable funds have passed through Binance. Binance in Nigeria in 2023.

In the case of Binance, in the past year alone, $26 billion flowed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users we cannot adequately identify.

Olayemi Cardoso.

Faced with large suspicious financial flows passing through crypto, the head of the central bank has announced an investigation into crypto exchanges. The investigation will be conducted jointly by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the police and the National Security Adviser.


This isn’t the first time Nigeria has unsuccessfully fought cryptocurrency. In February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered banks to close all crypto-related accounts. To impose the use of its own digital currency, Nigeria has tightened restrictions against cryptocurrency users.

However, these constraints have not diminished Nigerians’ interest in crypto. Faced with a national currency in perpetual devaluation up to 33.4 million Nigerians hold the cryptocurrency, according to a survey by Kucoin. This represents 35% of the country’s adult population. Could the Nigerian authorities’ current battle against cryptocurrencies end in fiasco?