Home Business Breaking: Binance Executive Escapes from Custody in Nigeria Following Court’s Criminal Charges
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Breaking: Binance Executive Escapes from Custody in Nigeria Following Court’s Criminal Charges

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Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the detained executives of Binance, has reportedly escaped custody in Nigeria, as disclosed in an exclusive report by Premium Times.

Anjarwalla, 38, evaded custody on Friday, March 22, from an Abuja guest house where he and his colleague were detained, allegedly for tax evasion and other offences. The escape reportedly occurred after guards took him to a nearby mosque for Ramadan prayers. This happened a day after a Federal High Court in Abuja hit the duo with a four-count criminal charge.

Despite his British passport being in Nigerian custody, Anjarwalla is said to have left Abuja via a Middle Eastern airline. Authorities are currently investigating his intended destination to facilitate his recapture.

The reports suggested Anjarwalla may have used a Kenyan passport to flee, though the source of this document remains uncertain. The escaped executive is the Regional Manager of Binance for East and West Africa and is a British-Kenyan citizen.

Anjarwalla, alongside Tigran Gambaryan, a US citizen, was detained upon their arrival in Nigeria on February 26, 2024, for alleged financial crimes. Gambaryan oversees financial crime compliance at Binance. The executives had flown in following the federal government’s decision to ban several cryptocurrency trading websites but were detained by the national security adviser’s office.

Recall that Nigeria’s central bank governor, Olayemi Cardoso, raised the alarm over funds flowing through crypto exchanges and cited concerns about illicit flows and suspicious transactions. He alleged that $26 billion had passed through Binance Nigeria in the past year from sources and users that cannot be adequately identified.

Cardoso stated, “We are concerned that certain practices go on that indicate illicit flows going through a number of these entities [crypto exchange platforms]and suspicious flows at best.”

Recent court proceedings in Abuja saw the duo facing criminal charges related to tax evasion and non-compliance with financial regulations. Following arguments from both parties, the court ruled to resume the session on April 5.

Before that, on March 22, the Nigerian government filed a four-count charge against Binance Holdings Limited, Mr Anjarwalla, and Mr Gambaryan at the Federal High Court in Abuja. The charges accused them of offering services on their platform without registering with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to pay taxes, violating Section 8 of the Value Added Tax Act.

Additionally, they are accused of failing to issue invoices to subscribers for value-added taxes, contrary to Section 29 of the same Act. The third count charged them with not deducting necessary taxes from cryptocurrency transactions, breaching Section 40 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Establishment Act. Lastly, they are accused of aiding subscribers to evade taxes, contravening Section 94 of the Companies Income Tax Act.

The situation surrounding Anjarwalla’s escape adds a new twist to the ongoing legal battle between Binance and Nigerian authorities, with implications for both parties.

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