Home Crypto News Binance Executive Escapes Detention in Nigeria

Binance Executive Escapes Detention in Nigeria

25 Mar, 2024 Crypto News

Binance Executive Escapes Detention in Nigeria

Reports from a local publication, citing informed sources, indicate that a Binance executive has successfully fled from Nigerian custody using a counterfeit passport.

In the midst of these developments, there are additional reports that the Nigerian government has initiated legal actions against the cryptocurrency exchange for evading taxes.

The legal action was reportedly initiated at the Federal High Court in Abuja this past Monday.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, a Binance executive, along with his colleague Tigran Gambaryan, had been under detention in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, housed in a guest house for an extended period.

Anjarwalla is said to have made his escape from detention on Friday, March 22, under the pretext of attending prayers at a nearby mosque.

Anjarwalla is believed to have left Abuja on a flight operated by a Middle Eastern airline.

The specifics of how he managed to board this flight remain uncertain, especially since his British passport, the document he used to enter Nigeria, was confiscated by Nigerian authorities.

An immigration official disclosed that Anjarwalla exited Nigeria using a Kenyan passport, raising questions about how he came to possess this passport given that he was without any travel documents while detained.

It has been noted that the detained men were afforded certain liberties, including access to cell phones, during their detention.

Anjarwalla, who serves as Binance's regional manager for Africa, and Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen leading Binance’s criminal investigations team, were detained following their arrival in Nigeria on February 26.

A Binance spokesperson, in a statement to Cointelegraph, mentioned, "We were made aware that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody. Our primary focus remains on the safety of our employees and we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to quickly resolve this issue."

The initial detention came after a magistrate court in Abuja processed a criminal complaint against them. The court granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) permission to hold the duo for a fortnight.

It also ordered Binance to provide the Nigerian government with access to data and information about Nigerian traders on its platform.

Following Binance's non-compliance with the court's order, the court decided to extend the detention of the officials by another 14 days to avoid potential evidence tampering.

The Nigerian government has been actively cracking down on individuals and entities associated with terrorist financing and money laundering activities linked to the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.

Government reports allege that nearly $21 billion has been laundered through the Binance platform.

Sources:

https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-executive-escapes-detention-nigeria

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/680511-exclusive-detained-binance-executive-escapes-from-custody-in-nigeria.html

https://guardian.ng/breakingnews/nigeria-files-tax-evasion-charges-against-binance/

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