Binance Exec who Fled Nigeria is Traced to Kenya, Extradition Being Pursued

April 15, 2024

The Nigerian government has successfully traced the whereabouts of Nadeem Anjarwalla, a high-ranking executive of Binance, to Kenya.

Anjarwalla had escaped custody in Nigeria, but his cover was blown upon his arrival in Kenya. “We have found him. We know where he is. He is in Kenya, and we’re working with the authorities to bring him back to Nigeria,” a source told Nigerian media outlet The Punch.

The situation has escalated, with intensified discussions between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), the Nigeria Police Force, and the Kenyan Police Service. Their goal? To expedite Anjarwalla’s extradition back to Nigeria to face serious charges.

The Charges

The charges against Binance Holdings and its executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, are grave. They include tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering, amounting to a staggering $35.4 million.

Court documents reveal that charges were filed against Binance Holdings, Gambaryan, and Anjarwalla (now at large) on March 28 before the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Abuja.

These charges include engaging in specialized financial business without a valid license, conducting business as a financial institution without authorization, unlawful negotiation of foreign exchange rates, conspiracy to conceal the origin of illicit funds, and money laundering.

Earlier, on March 22, the Nigerian government had filed a four-count charge against Binance Holdings, Anjarwalla, and Gambaryan. They were accused of offering services to subscribers on their platform without registering with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and failing to pay relevant taxes.

The Extradition Efforts

The EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, confirmed in the agency’s March edition of the “EFCC Alert” bulletin that the commission was working in partnership with Interpol, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya to extradite Anjarwalla. The joint efforts between the Nigerian government, security agencies, Kenyan authorities, and Interpol aim to ensure Anjarwalla’s return to Nigeria to face justice.

Tigran Gambaryan’s Defense

Last week, detained executive Gambaryan pleaded not guilty to four counts of money laundering charges in Nigeria.

In his defense, Gambaryan emphasized that he should not be held accountable for Binance’s activities in Nigeria, as he does not possess decision-making authority in the company’s business operations. His lawyer, Chukwuka Ikuazom, argued that Gambaryan could not enter a plea on behalf of his escaped colleague who was also served with charges.

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