Binance Executive Escapes From Custody in Nigeria

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The legal proceedings between Binance and Nigeria have taken a new turn as one of the detained executive makes a daring escape from lawful custody leaving the authorities to reassess their strategy. According to local news citing familiar sources, one of the two executives of the exchange, identified as Nadeem Anjarwalla, has fled custody after being escorted for prayers on Friday, March 22.  

Authorities Arrest Binance Executives for Tax Evasion 

The executives were arrested for tax evasion, amongst other offenses. As per insiders, there is a possibility that Nadeem flew out of Abuja using a Kenyan passport. Although, it is still a puzzle as to how he got an international flight out of the country, as his British passport is still in the custody of Nigerian authorities. 

In response to the incident, Nigerian authorities are doing everything possible to launch a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances leading to the executive’s escape and hold those responsible. However, skepticism remains high regarding the government’s ability to effectively address the root cause of the problem and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Recent Allegations Against Binance

Recall that a few days ago, a Nigerian high court mandated Binance Holdings to provide the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with comprehensive data concerning Nigerian users engaged in trading on its platform. Lawyer Ekele Iheanacho, representing the EFCC, filed an ex parte motion alleging that Binance’s activities in Nigeria show signs of criminal behavior, citing provisions in the EFCC Act 2024.

Likewise, in a court affidavit, EFCC operative Hamma Bello stressed the urgency of the Commission’s investigation prompted by intelligence, which indicated money laundering and terrorism financing via the Binance platform. Bello pointed out various illicit activities, such as price manipulation and market distortions, exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigeria naira in comparison to other currencies, among others.

Uncertainty Over Resolution

Binance has not commented yet on the Nigeria authority’s request for comprehensive user data. Nonetheless, the exchange issued a statement affirming its active cooperation with Nigerian authorities to secure the safe return of the detained executives to their families. 

The resolution of the conflict between Binance and Nigerian regulators is still unclear. In the meantime, Binance users in Nigeria have had to explore alternative payment platforms for their financial transactions. 

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