Binance executive escapes Nigerian custody

  • A Binance executive detained by Nigerian authorities last month has escaped.
  • The West African country has charged the cryptocurrency exchange with a host of tax evasion charges.

An executive of cryptocurrency exchange Binance has escaped custody in Nigeria, where a criminal investigation into money laundering has been launched against the platform.

The escape for Binance exec

Nadeem Anjarwalla, the regional manager for Binance in Africa, “fled Nigeria using a smuggled passport”, the office of Nigeria’s National Security Adviser said in a statement on Monday.

Binance’s regional manager for Africa, British-Kenyan Nadeem Anjarwalla, was detained alongside colleague Tigran Gambaryan by the Nigerian government in late February.

While the two executives have not been charged with any offense, the government has demanded nearly US$10 billion in damages from the cryptocurrency company, accusing it of manipulating the exchange rate through currency speculation and exchange rate manipulation.

Also read: Binance ends support for USDC on Tron blockchain

Nigerian government and cryptocyrrency

Nigeria is Africa’s largest crypto economy in terms of trade volume, with many citizens using crypto as the country experiences surging inflation and a declining local currency.

According to Bloomberg, a presidential spokesman said that Anjarwalla had escaped from the guest house where he was being detained. Amid speculation that he has fled the country, Nigerian is working with Interpol to secure an international arrest warrant for him.

A Binance spokesperson states, “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.”

Separately, Nigeria has laid new allegations against Binance and the two executives.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced multiple charges, including failure to pay VAT and Company Income Tax, and enabling tax evasion through its platform.

Jennifer-Yu

Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu is an intern reporter at BTW Media covering artificial intelligence and internet governance. She graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a Master’s degree in Journalism. Send tips to j.yu@btw.media.

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