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“CZ” Zhao to Surrender Passport Despite Offering $4.5 Billion to Ensure Return from UAE

Last Updated March 13, 2024 1:24 PM
Eddie Mitchell
Last Updated March 13, 2024 1:24 PM
By Eddie Mitchell
Verified by Peter Henn
Key Takeaways
  • Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is being placed under stricter travel restrictions.
  • A court refused billions in return for allowing Zhao a trip to the UAE.
  • Multiple lawsuits and investigations are bringing the integrity of Binance’s operations into question.

Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao must surrender his Canadian passport. An American court ordered the disgraced exchange founder give up his travel document ahead of his April 30 sentencing.

The modification to his bail conditions comes shortly after the embattled crypto tycoon offered his $4.5 billion stake in Binance to fly to the United Arab Emirates. With ongoing legal battles for both Zhao and his former exchange both in and outside the states, what is the future of Binance?

Changpeng Zhao Travel Ban

As per updated conditions  filed on March 11, 2024, Zhao must remain within the United States. He also has to notify the authorities before any travel within the US, as well as surrender his Canadian passport.

court document CZ Binance
The courts impose a strict travel ban on Zhao.

In addition, he is required to turn in “all other current and expired passports and travel documents”. He also cannot apply for new passports or travel documents “from any country” without the court’s permission.

The news follows Zhao’s plea  in January to attend the “hospitalization and surgery of” an unknown individual. Despite Zhao personally offering up billions in bond collateral to “assure his timely return”, authorities were quick to challenge the appeal, arguing he was a “substantial flight risk.”

After that, a suspension of his original criminal sentencing saw the hearing moved from February to the end of April. Although the reasons why it was suspended are unknown, the new conditions don’t bode well for Zhao .

Binance Nigeria Woes

Although he may not still be at the helm of Binance, Zhao still maintains a significant stake in the company. Nevertheless, Binance’s future is looking murky as numerous legal battles outside of the US rage on.

Most recently there has been the Binance Nigeria saga. This has seen the launch of a probe into the exchange as it exits the Nigerian market following accusations of market manipulation and destabilizing the national currency, the Naira.

To make matters worse, the Nigerian government is also alleging Binance Nigeria processed $26 billion of funds that are either illicit or from unknown origins. It is currently seeking up to $10 billion in fines from Binance.

All the while, two senior Binance executives remain “held against their will” in Nigeria following a breakdown in negotiations. The Nigerian authorities are yet to announce their reason for the executives’ detention.

An Uncertain Future

One notably troubling event is the return of an aspiring class-action lawsuit  against Zhao, Binance, and other executives by a United States appeals court on March 8, 2024.

The original suit from 2020, alleged that the exchange broke securities and federal laws by selling certain tokens to Americans but was eventually dismissed. Now, the courts are leaning to the side of the plaintiffs, allowing for the case’s revival.

With ongoing probes into the conduct of its operations in countries such as France, the UK, and others, the position of Binance as the world’s most popular crypto exchange may change in the near future.

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