Friday , June 14 2024

Authorities in Kenya Detain Binance Executive who Escaped from Nigeria

Kenyan police authorities have taken into custody Nadeem Anjarwalla, an executive associated with the cryptocurrency platform Binance, who had reportedly fled Nigeria in recent weeks.

Anjarwalla’s flight from Nigeria followed a government crackdown on the cryptocurrency platform, initiated to bolster the nation’s currency, the naira.

After eluding Nigerian authorities, Anjarwalla was located in Kenya, where he is said to be currently detained by local law enforcement.

Government sources in Kenya have purportedly verified Anjarwalla’s detention by the country’s police.

Efforts to bring Anjarwalla to justice have involved collaborative discussions between various law enforcement agencies, including Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the International Criminal Police, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the Kenyan Police Service.

These discussions have centred on the extradition of Anjarwalla, with the EFCC confirming their intentions to pursue extradition in their bulletin for the month of March.

“The takeover of the prosecution of Binance chiefs by the commission is no less a strong message in the direction of the EFCC’s resolve to hedge in distortions and disruptions in the country’s forex market,” the anti-graft agency’s chief, Ola Olukoyede, said.

“Tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering to the tune of $35,400,000 are at the foundation of the Commission’s five counts against Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the company’s chief executives.

“While Gambaryan is currently in the Commission’s net, the process of extraditing the fleeing Anjarwalla is revving in full swing. Involved in partnership with the EFCC to nick Anjarwalla in flight are the International Criminal Police Organisation, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya as the clock winds down to his arraignment in absentia alongside the company and Gambaryan.”

Until his escape, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who holds dual British and Kenyan citizenship and serves as Binance’s Africa Regional Manager, was undergoing trial in Nigerian courts.

His departure occurred during a 14-day remand order by the court, with a scheduled appearance set for April 4, 2024.

The Nigerian government has intensified its crackdown on Binance in recent months, with Anjarwalla among the cryptocurrency executives apprehended amidst the fray.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alleged that Binance facilitated the transfer of over $26 billion without proper documentation.

“In the last year,” remarked CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso, “more than $26 billion has been funnelled through Binance without trace.”

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