Binance executive tracked to Kenya, extradition underway


The Nigerian Government has traced the fleeing Binance executive Nadeem Arjarwalla to Kenya following his escape from custody and is currently taking steps toward extradition. 

According to a report from local media outlet Punch, sources within the Presidency disclosed that Arjarwalla went into hiding once he arrived in Kenya, but his cover has been blown. This could open another chapter in the saga as the country looks to extradite the Binance executive.

The Nigerian government is now collaborating with international security agencies like Interpol and the Kenyan Police to bring Arjarwalla to the country to face charges leveled against him.

Gambaryan came to Nigeria with Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla in February following claims that the exchange manipulated the country’s fiat currency, the naira. Arjarwalla was detained alongside another Binance executive after a meeting with the Nigerian government over Binance’s regulatory woes.

The county’s Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) took over the investigation from the National Security Adviser (NSA). The anti-graft agency slammed the exchange and its two executives with five counts bordering on money laundering. However, Anjarwalla reportedly escaped custody on March 22 and was able to board a flight out of the capital, Abuja.

Anjarwalla reportedly flew out of Abuja on a Middle East airline. However, it is unclear how he managed to board the international flight, as his British passport, with which he entered Nigeria, remains in the custody of the Nigerian authorities.

Related: Nigeria’s government is blaming Binance for its own mismanagement

According to an immigration official, the Binance executive fled Nigeria on a Kenyan passport, and authorities are now trying to determine how Anjarwalla acquired the passport, as he had no other travel documents while in custody.

While Arjarwalla remains out of the country, Gambaryan pleaded not guilty to charges with his wife and other supporters calling for his release after several weeks in detention. Gambaryan’s wife has launched a petition to bring him back to the U.S., which had 3,373 signatures at the time of publication. However, Gambaryan’s case has been adjourned until April 19.

Binance announced on March 5 that it intended to cease all naira transactions, effectively exiting the market for Nigerian users. Binance also mentioned that Binance’s peer-to-peer platform delisted all NGN trading pairs in late February.

On Feb. 27, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria argued that crypto exchanges in Nigeria were suspected of handling illicit transactions, also pointing to “suspicious flows” of funds at Binance.

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