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Fleeing Binance Executive Traced to Kenya, Nigeria Pursues Extradition

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Fleeing Binance Executive Traced to Kenya, Nigeria Pursues Extradition

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

Anjarwalla had managed to escape custody in Nigeria, but his cover was blown upon his arrival in Kenya, according to a report from Nigerian media outlet The Punch

The report also said there have been 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, aimed at expediting Anjarwalla’s extradition.

“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,” one source told the media outlet. 

Another source, closely connected to the matter, has confirmed the ongoing joint efforts between the Nigerian government, security agencies, Kenyan authorities, and INTERPOL to ensure Anjarwalla’s return to Nigeria to face the charges against him.

EFCC Working With Global Authorities to Extradite Anjarwalla

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 United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya to extradite Anjarwalla. 

The charges against Binance Holdings Limited and its chief executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, include tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering amounting to $35.4 million.

Court documents reveal that charges were filed against Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan, and Nadeem Anjarwalla (now at large) on March 28, 2024, before the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Abuja. 

The 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.

Additionally, on March 22, the Nigerian government filed another four-count charge against Binance Holdings Limited, Anjarwalla, and Gambaryan, accusing them of offering services to subscribers on their platform without registering with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and failing to pay relevant taxes.

Tigran Gambaryan Pleads Not Guilty

Last week, detained Binance executive Tigran 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.

However, Judge Emeka Nwite rejected Gambaryan’s defense argument and ruled that Gambaryan acted as Binance’s representative during previous trips to Nigeria, citing local laws. 

“A person who has no physical presence in Nigeria but has a physical agent in Nigeria can be duly served through that agent.”

As reported, Gambaryan’s case was adjourned until April 19, but according to recent reports, the hearing for bail consideration has been further adjourned to April 18.