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Detained Binance executive reportedly escapes from custody in Nigeria

detained-binance-executive-reportedly-escapes-from-custody-in-nigeria
Edited by
News
Detained Binance executive reportedly escapes from custody in Nigeria

Nadeem Anjarwalla, a detained Binance executive in Nigeria, reportedly escaped custody after being taken for prayer.

On Mar. 22, Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan who is Binance‘s regional manager for Africa, reportedly fled Nigeria after being detained upon arrival in the country as part of an investigation into the exchange.

Anjarwalla, who was detained in Nigeria, reportedly departed from Abuja via a Middle Eastern airline following permission to visit a nearby mosque for prayers during Ramadan, according to a report from Premium Times, a Nigerian online newspaper. An immigration official, speaking to the media, claimed Anjarwalla used a Kenyan passport to leave Nigeria, raising questions about how exactly the Binance executive obtained the passport as he possessed no other travel documents when taken into custody.

The recent development comes after the Nigerian government started legal proceedings in the Federal High Court in Abuja, levying a four-count charge against Binance Holdings, Anjarwalla, and Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and Binance’s head of financial crime compliance, who was detained alongside Anjarwalla by Nigerian authorities.

The charges allege that the accused parties provided services to platform subscribers without proper registration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to fulfill tax obligations. Gambaryan continues to be held in custody as the local court has deferred its decision on the matter until April 5.

The detention appears to be part of Nigeria’s efforts to stabilize the naira and combat currency speculation, which the local authorities believe, is fueled by crypto exchanges. Previously, the Nigerian government ordered telecom and internet service providers to restrict access to several crypto exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, in an attempt to address currency depreciation. In response, Binance removed the naira for trading from its platform.