Detained Binance Executive Escapes Custody in Nigeria, Government to Request Interpol Assistance

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A senior executive at Binance, who was detained by Nigerian authorities in late February, has since escaped from custody. The executive Nadeem Anjarwalla is believed to have left the country using a Kenyan passport. The Nigerian government confirmed Anjarwalla’s escape and said it would ask Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant.


Binance Executive Departs Nigeria Using Kenyan Passport

Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the Binance executives detained by the Nigerian government in late February, has reportedly escaped from custody. Anjarwalla, a British and Kenyan citizen, is suspected of using his Kenyan passport to leave Nigeria on an unidentified Middle East airliner.

According to a report in Premium Times, Anjarwalla, a devout Muslim, vanished after leaving a government “guesthouse” under the pretext of attending prayers at a nearby mosque. As previously reported by News, the passports of Anjarwalla and fellow executive Tigran Gambaryan were seized by Nigerian authorities when they were taken into custody in late February.

The Office of the National Security Adviser confirmed Anjarwalla’s escape in a statement and expressed its intention to request an international arrest warrant from Interpol.

The Nigerian government detained the pair after they reportedly refused to comply with some of its demands. The government has accused Binance of failing to eliminate users it blames for the rapid depreciation of the local currency. A senior aide to Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at one point claimed that the crypto exchange had been fined $10 billion, but later retracted the statement.

As per the Premium Times report, the Nigerian government has since added tax law violations and related charges against two executives.

Kenyan Blockchain Association Condemns ‘Arbitrary’ Detention of Executives

At the time of their detention, the two Binance executives reportedly did not have any other travel documents. However, unnamed Nigerian officials quoted in the report believe that Anjarwalla may have used a telephone, one of the “privileges” at the guesthouse, to facilitate his escape.

Before Anjarwalla’s reported escape, representatives from the Blockchain Association of Kenya met with the Nigerian High Commission and demanded Anjarwalla’s release. The association stated that the “arbitrary” detention of both Anjarwalla and Gambaryan could potentially undermine efforts to expand the African blockchain industry.

“The arbitrary detention of Nadeem Anjarwalla and his colleague not only undermines principles of transparency, due process, and respect for human rights but also jeopardizes the advancement of blockchain technology and innovation in our region.”

The statement also urged Nigerian authorities to ensure the safety of both executives.

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