Binance executive arrested in Nigeria escapes custody


One of the two executives of Binance detained by the Nigerian government has escaped custody, according to a report.

Nigerian authorities detained two senior officials of Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – in late February when they arrived the West African country to dialogue with government officials over the clampdown on the cryptocurrency platform.

The detention of the officials came a day after Nigeria’s central bank governor Olayemi Cardoso said that about $26 billion, mostly from unknown sources, flowed through the exchange in the last one year.

Nigeria recently clamped down on cryptocurrency marketplaces as it continued to battle volatile foreign exchange rates that have seen the value of the naira plummet to an all-time low in recent weeks.

Three weeks after their detention, Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the two Binance executives detained in Nigeria for alleged tax evasion and other offences, has escaped from lawful custody, a report by Premium Times said.

The report disclosed that 38-year-old Anjarwalla escaped on Friday, 22 March, from the Abuja guest house where he and his colleague were detained after guards on duty led him to a nearby mosque for prayers for the ongoing Ramadan fast.

The Briton, who also has Kenyan citizenship, is believed to have flown out of Abuja using a Middle East airliner.

“It remains unclear how Mr Anjarwalla got on an international flight despite his British passport, with which he entered Nigeria, remaining in the custody of the Nigerian authorities,” the report said.

The Head of Strategic Communication at the Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakari Mijinyawa, according to the report, said he is unaware of Anjarwalla’s escape from detention custody.

A Nigerian court last week ordered Binance to provide details of transactions from the country to anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Nigerian government alleged that Binance was being used by money launders and currency speculators to weaken the Nigerian naira in the foreign exchange market.

Source: The Punch


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