Nadeem Anjarwalla, an executive at cryptocurrency giant Binance, managed to avoid arrest in Nigeria by using a fake passport. This event is just the tip of the iceberg in a much larger controversy surrounding the cryptocurrency exchange platform as it faces criminal charges from the Nigerian government. The accusation is serious: tax evasion. And all this is unfolding against the backdrop of the Federal High Court in Abuja where legal proceedings are already underway.

The drama began when Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan, another company executive, were detained in Abuja. They were staying in a guest house, in custody, awaiting developments in their case. The twist came when Anjarwalla was reportedly allowed to go out to pray and wasted no time: he boarded a flight from Abuja using a Kenyan passport. This raises a number of questions, mainly how he obtained such a document and passed through airport security, given that his British passport was being held by local authorities.

Details of this unusual breakout come to light as Binance faces intense scrutiny. Anjarwalla, who serves as regional manager for Africa, and Gambaryan, who heads Binance’s criminal investigations team, were initially detained in February. The detention was the result of a decision by a magistrate’s court, which responded to a criminal complaint from the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), allowing the executives’ detention for a period that was eventually extended due to failure to compliance with a court order by Binance.

Amid this storm, a Binance spokesperson stated: “We have been informed that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody. Our primary focus continues to be the safety of our employees and we are working collaboratively with the Nigerian authorities to quickly resolve this issue.” This comment highlights the company’s position in the face of the challenges it faces and its willingness to cooperate with investigations.

This case is not isolated and sheds light on the Nigerian government’s strong measures against financial crime, especially with regard to terrorist financing and money laundering.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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