Binance executive reportedly escapes detainment

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March 25, 2024
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3 min read
A portrait of Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance employee detained in Nigeria
Nadeem Anjarwalla

The news

  • One of the two Binance executives detained by the Office of Nigeria's National Security Adviser has reportedly escaped.
  • Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance's regional manager for Africa, was said to have escaped on Friday, March 22, 2023, from a guest house in Abuja.
  • Authorities are still unsure how Anjarwalla was able to leave the country as his passport has been seized.

Tigran Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have been detained since February 26, 2024, making it almost a month since both employees have been detained by the Nigerian government.

Per Premium Times, Anjarwalla escaped from the Abuja guest house where he and Gambaryan were detained after he was led to a nearby mosque to pray. He is believed to have flown out of the country using a Middle East Airliner.

However, authorities are uncertain how he was able to leave the country given that his British passport with which he entered Nigeria has been seized. Ajarwalla's destination is also unknown.

One of the sources who spoke to the publication said that both employees are kept in a comfortable guest house where they have access to phones and the Internet.

The families of the detainees have, however, called for their release as they have not done anything wrong.

In a press statement sent to Techpoint Africa, Anjarwalla's wife, Elahe Anjarwalla said that the family was hoping to have him around for his son's first birthday.

"I am once again asking from the bottom of my heart that the Nigerian authorities please allow him and Tigran to return home whilst they continue their discussions with Binance. I am also calling on the British and Kenyan governments to do more to get Nadeem back home to us," she said.

Gambaryan's wife, Yuki Gambaryan also said, "Tigran is globally recognized for his work in law enforcement and many of his peers would say that Tigran’s continuous efforts are what keep cryptocurrencies safe and clean. Please let him come home to continue this good work."

However, the Nigerian government has demanded data on Binance's top 100 users in the last six months, a directive the company is yet to comply with.

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A court has also directed the exchange to provide the data to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

EFFC's lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, said that there are ingredients of criminality associated with the operations of Binance in Nigeria.

Binance's refusal to comply directed the court to extend the detainment of Nadeem and Gambaryan for another 14 days to prevent them from tampering with evidence.

Binance, Gambaryan, and Nadeem are currently facing charges which include, offering services to Nigerians without registering with the the Federal Inland Revenue Service to pay taxes and offering crypto trading services without adding VAT.

Since the Nigerian government blamed the platform for the decline of the naira value due to bad players on its platforms, Binance has ended P2P trading and all naira-related services on its platform.

Representatives of the families have acknowledged Techpoint Africa's inquiry to get more information on Nadeem's escape.

A Binance spokesperson has also made a statement on the issue. The company said it has been made aware "that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody. Our primary focus remains on the safety of our employees and we are working with Nigerian authorities to quickly resolve this issue."

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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