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Binance Executive Flees Detention in Dramatic Escape in Nigeria

Reportedly, Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla evaded apprehension in Nigeria following the filing of tax evasion charges against the exchange by the FIRS.

In a developing story that has captivated audiences worldwide, one of the two detained executives from Binance in Nigeria has made a daring escape from custody, as reported by local news outlets.

According to Premium Times, a respected Nigerian publication, Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, managed to flee from the Abuja guest house where he was being held alongside the exchange’s Head of Financial Crime Compliance, Tigran Gambaryan. The escape reportedly occurred when Anjarwalla was taken to a nearby mosque for Ramadan prayers by guards.

Holding dual British and Kenyan citizenship, Anjarwalla is said to have boarded a flight using his Kenyan passport, facilitated by a “Middle East airliner.” The details of his final destination remain unclear at this time.

Upon his detention, Anjarwalla had surrendered his British passport, which he used to enter Nigeria. It is believed that he orchestrated his escape utilizing his access to telephones within the confines of the “comfortable guest house” he was detained in. Meanwhile, his colleague Gambaryan continues to be held in custody.

The detention of the Binance executives occurred in February, amidst investigations by Nigerian authorities into cryptocurrency exchanges operating within the country. Although no criminal charges had been formally issued against them, a court order allowed Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to detain Anjarwalla and Gambaryan for an initial 14 days, a period that was later extended in mid-March following a court hearing.

In a related development, Nigerian authorities have demanded that Binance disclose information on its top 100 users in Nigeria, including their transaction histories over the last six months.

Moreover, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) of Nigeria has lodged tax evasion charges against both the executives and Binance itself. As reported by Channels TV, the lawsuit, numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, encompasses allegations of VAT evasion, Company Income Tax evasion, failure to file tax returns, and not registering with the FIRS for tax purposes. The charges also suggest Binance’s involvement in facilitating tax evasion for its customers.

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