Home » NSA Launches Global Hunt for Binance Executive After Escape in Nigeria

NSA Launches Global Hunt for Binance Executive After Escape in Nigeria

Nigeria Seeks International Help to Recapture Fugitive Crypto Executive

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Nigeria has initiated a global manhunt for Mr. Nadeem Anjarwalla, the Executive Manager of Binance for the African region, after his unexpected escape from custody. Mr. Zakari Mijinyawa, Head of Strategic Communication for ONSA, made an urgent appeal to both the public and international community for assistance in re-arresting Anjarwalla, who is embroiled in a significant criminal probe related to the cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance’s operations in Nigeria.

The Nigerian government has been rigorously investigating Binance for potential involvement in money laundering and terrorism financing, leading to Anjarwalla’s initial detention. Despite being under a 14-day remand order and due to reappear in court on April 4, 2024, Anjarwalla managed to flee on March 22, 2024. His escape has prompted collaboration between Nigerian security agencies, MDAs, and international counterparts, with Interpol now involved in issuing an international arrest warrant.

Anjarwalla, a dual British and Kenyan national, reportedly fled Nigeria using a smuggled passport, raising questions about the circumstances of his departure, especially since his British passport was still held by Nigerian authorities. Speculation is rife that he may have used a Kenyan passport for his escape, although he was initially arrested with only his British passport. This situation has led to the arrest of the personnel responsible for Anjarwalla’s custody, with investigations underway to determine the failure in security measures.

This incident unfolds against the backdrop of legal battles involving Anjarwalla, Tigran Gambaryan, another Binance executive, and the cryptocurrency exchange itself. Both executives were arrested upon their arrival in Nigeria on February 26, 2024, facing allegations of tax evasion among other charges. Their detention has been at a comfortable guest house, a decision that might have facilitated Anjarwalla’s escape.

Binance has responded to the situation, emphasizing the safety of their employees and expressing a commitment to resolving the issues in collaboration with Nigerian authorities. However, the specifics of Anjarwalla’s whereabouts remain undisclosed.

The charges against the Binance officials and the platform are serious, with the Nigerian government accusing them of evading taxes and failing to comply with regulatory requirements. According to FIRS, over $21.6 billion was traded by Nigerians through Binance, a platform also accused of facilitating financial crimes that distort Nigeria’s economy.

This situation not only highlights the challenges of regulating cryptocurrency operations in Nigeria but also reflects the broader concerns related to financial crimes and tax evasion in the digital currency space. The Nigerian government’s steadfast approach to ensuring tax compliance and curbing illegal financial flows is evident in its pursuit of Binance and its executives.

The unfolding drama surrounding Binance’s operations in Nigeria and Anjarwalla’s dramatic escape adds a complex layer to the ongoing discourse on cryptocurrency regulation, the enforcement of tax laws, and the international cooperation required to manage the digital economy’s intricacies. As the Nigerian government continues its legal and investigative efforts, the cryptocurrency world watches closely, aware of the potential implications for the industry’s regulatory environment and operational norms.


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