British-Kenyan Executive Nadeem Anjarwalla Evades Capture in Nigerian Binance

An executive from the cryptocurrency firm Binance has reportedly fled custody in Nigeria, according to local authorities.

In February, Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan dual national, was taken into custody along with his colleague Tigran Gambaryan from the United States.

Their detention coincided with the Nigerian authorities’ investigation into alleged misconduct by Binance.

Nigeria claimed that Mr Anjarwalla departed the country with a “smuggled passport”, while a family source has stated that he left through “lawful means”.

The country is currently collaborating with Interpol to obtain an international arrest warrant for the suspect, as stated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Binance has remained silent regarding the allegations it has been confronted with.

“We have received information that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody.” The safety of our employees is our top priority, and we are actively cooperating with Nigerian authorities to resolve this matter promptly,” stated a spokesperson from Binance.

Two individuals, Mr Anjarwalla and Mr Gambaryan, were detained on 26 February following their participation in meetings in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, which they had been invited to by the government. Mr Anjarwalla serves as the company’s Africa regional manager, while Mr Gambaryan is responsible for financial crime compliance at the firm.

According to reports, the authorities have requested information about individuals involved in trading on their platform.

A court has granted the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to detain the two executives for 14 days. However, their continued detention was not authorized by the court, and according to a source close to the families, they are being held “unlawfully.”

They were scheduled to make another court appearance in the coming weeks.

“The individuals in charge of the suspect’s custody have been apprehended, and a comprehensive investigation is currently underway to uncover the details surrounding his escape from lawful detention,” stated the ONSA.

Reports from Nigerian media indicate that Mr Anjarwalla requested permission from the guards at a guest house to attend the mosque last Friday, but he did not come back.

According to reports, his British passport had been confiscated, while the location of his Kenyan passport remained uncertain.

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Mr Gambaryan is still in custody.

In a recent development, the Nigerian authorities have taken legal action against Binance by filing tax evasion charges at the High Court in Abuja. Mr. Anjarwalla has been named as one of the respondents in this case.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service has raised allegations against the cryptocurrency platform regarding tax-related matters, including non-payment of value added tax, company income tax, failure to file tax returns, and alleged involvement in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

Binance has yet to address these allegations.

Last month, Nigerian authorities took action against cryptocurrency firms due to concerns of potential money laundering and terrorist financing.

The country’s central bank claimed that more than $26 billion (£20.6 billion) worth of transactions had flowed through Binance with sources that cannot be traced.

The platforms were accused of manipulating exchange rates and engaging in currency speculation, which resulted in the significant devaluation of the naira, the local currency. As a consequence, the firm has been instructed to pay a fine of $10bn.

Binance is widely recognized as a highly favored cryptocurrency platform in Nigeria.

The economic situation in Africa’s largest economy is currently facing significant challenges due to the devaluation of the currency, rising living costs, and food inflation.

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