Binance Exec Escapes Detention in Nigeria, More Trouble for Binance?

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Written By Maya Cantina

Mon, 25/03/2024 – 11:06

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Binance Regional Manager for Africa Nadeem Anjarwalla has escaped detention in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, where he and Tigran Gambaryan, the exchange’s head of financial crime compliance are being held hostage. According to an update from Sahara Reporters, Anjarwalla escaped detention when he was taken to the mosque to observe prayers because of the ongoing Ramadan Fast.

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Details on how he escaped remain unknown, however, he was said to have left the country on a Middle Eastern airliner. As someone with both British and Kenyan citizenship, Anjarwalla’s destination remains unknown, and the fallout from this escape remains unclear at the time of writing.

The Binance executives flew into Abuja in February to resolve claims by the country’s anti-graft agency concerning currency manipulations and other charges. Since they entered the country on Feb. 26, both Anjarwalla and Gambaryan have been held in custody with no confirmation that they will be released any time soon.

Despite no personal charges levied on them, both Binance executives appeared in Court on March 19. A federal Judge is yet to rule on the request from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking an extended detention.

What this means For Binance

Escaping detention is a daring move that is uncommon in the crypto ecosystem. This escape might further complicate the tense situation between Binance and Nigerian authorities. Considered the largest market for digital currencies in Africa, Nigeria remains a major hub for Binance to maintain both its continental and global dominance.

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of FTX Derivatives Exchange, and Do Kwon, the former CEO of Terraform Labs, are also crypto personalities that have suffered detention and prison time in recent times. Neither of them made a move like Anjarwalla despite facing longer potential jail terms per the fraud charges levied on them.

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