Binance Executive Left By “Lawful Means” – Family Source

Add a Comment 66 Views
4 Min Read
Nadeem Anjarwalla

Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria

A family source to Nadeem Anjarwalla of cryptocurrency firm, Binance has said the executive left the country by “lawful means”. However, the Nigerian authorities are saying that he escaped from custody.

The British-Kenyan dual national, was arrested last February with his US colleague Tigran Gambaryan, on the back of the Nigerian authorities investigating alleged wrongdoing by Binance.

- Advertisement -
Ad image

Nigeria said that Mr Anjarwalla, the company’s Africa regional manager fled the country with a “smuggled passport”, but the family source said he had left by “by lawful means”.

According to a statement by the country’s Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the country is “working with Interpol for an international arrest warrant on the suspect”.

Binance is yet to comment on the accusations it has been facing.

“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,” a Binance spokesperson said.

Mr Anjarwalla and Mr Gambaryan who is in charge of financial crime compliance at the firm, were arrested on 26 February after attending meetings in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to which they had been invited by the government.

- Advertisement -
Ad image

The authorities reportedly demanded that they name Nigerians trading on their platform.

A court granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request to detain the two executives for 14 days, but their continued detention was not authorised by the court and they were being held “unlawfully”, a source close to the families told the BBC.

They were due to appear again in court early next month.

“The personnel responsible for the custody of the suspect have been arrested, and a thorough investigation is ongoing to unravel the circumstances that led to his escape from lawful detention,” the ONSA said.

Nigerian media are reporting that Mr Anjarwalla asked the guards at a guest house where he was being held to allow him to go to the mosque last Friday but never returned.

The authorities had reportedly confiscated his British passport but the whereabouts of his Kenyan passport were unknown.

Mr Gambaryan remains in custody.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian authorities have formally filed tax evasion charges against Binance at the High Court in Abuja, and named Mr Anjarwalla among the respondents.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service is accusing the cryptocurrency platform of non-payment of value added tax, company income tax, failure to file tax returns and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

Binance has not made a statement on these charges.

Last month, the Nigerian authorities clamped down on cryptocurrency firms in general over allegations they were being used for money laundering and financing terrorism.

The country’s central bank alleged that over $26bn (£20.6bn) worth of transactions had passed through Binance with untraceable sources.

It accused the platforms of fixing exchange rates and currency speculation leading to the free-fall of the naira, the local currency, and ordered the firm to pay a fine of $10bn.

Binance is understood to be one of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms in Nigeria.

Africa’s largest economy is battling an economic crisis worsened by the weakening of the naira, the soaring cost of living, and food inflation.

Share This Article
Leave a comment