Binance exec on the run: Nigeria pursues extradition

The Nigerian government has located Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla in Kenya after he escaped custody.

The government is now hoping to bring him back to Nigeria.

ADS, citing sources within the Nigerian presidency working on the case, confirmed that Anjarwalla’s whereabouts in Kenya are known.

Efforts are underway to coordinate with Kenyan authorities to return him to Nigeria.

Anjarwalla is believed to have reached Kenya and hid to evade the authorities.

He is alleged to have committed money laundering, tax evasion, and currency speculation to the tune of $35.4 million. The charges prompted collaborative efforts between Nigerian agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria Police, the Kenyan Police, and Interpol.

Furthermore, Punch highlighted the EFCC’s ongoing collaboration with international agencies, including the FBI and UK, Northern Ireland, and Kenyan authorities, to address the allegations.

This case dates back to February. Anjarwalla and another Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, were detained in Nigeria over claims of manipulating the Nigerian naira.

Subsequently, the EFCC took over the investigation, filing charges against Binance Holdings Limited, Gambaryan, and Anjarwalla.

While Gambaryan remains in EFCC custody, Anjarwalla managed to escape on March 22. He boarded a flight out of Abuja using his UK passport. He allegedly flew on a Middle Eastern airline.

It remains unclear how he managed to board the flight, as Nigerian authorities hold his UK passport, which was used to enter Nigeria.

Punch’s coverage also revealed ongoing interrogations of soldiers involved in monitoring Anjarwalla and the full-scale involvement of agencies like the military, the Department of State Services, the Police, and the National Intelligence Agency.

Binance announced on March 5 that it would halt all naira transactions, effectively leaving the market. The exchange also removed all naira trading pairs from its peer-to-peer platform.

The decision came on the heels of an intensified effort by the Nigerian government to combat suspected money laundering and target individuals allegedly using Binance for illicit activities. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Olayemi Cardoso, previously expressed concerns about crypto exchanges in Nigeria handling illicit transactions exceeding $21.6 billion.

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