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Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan executive involved in the Nigeria Binance dispute, successfully evades custody, raising questions about the effectiveness of the legal system in resolving the ongoing conflict.

Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla was first detained in Nigeria last month

According to Nigerian authorities, an executive from the cryptocurrency company Binance has reportedly fled custody in Nigeria. Nadeem Anjarwalla, a dual national of British and Kenyan origin, was apprehended in February alongside his colleague Tigran Gambaryan from the United States. The arrests occurred during a Nigerian investigation into alleged misconduct by Binance.

Nigeria claims that Anjarwalla left the country using a “smuggled passport,” though a family source disputes this, asserting his departure was lawful. The country is now coordinating with Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant for Anjarwalla.

Binance has refrained from commenting on the allegations against them but expressed concern for their employees’ safety and cooperation with Nigerian authorities to resolve the situation swiftly.

Anjarwalla, serving as Binance’s Africa regional manager, and Gambaryan, responsible for financial crime compliance, were detained after attending government-invited meetings in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Nigerian authorities allegedly pressured them to identify Nigerian traders on their platform.

Although initially granted a 14-day detention period, their continued confinement lacked court authorization, deemed unlawful by a source close to their families. Their next court appearance was scheduled for early the following month.

Following Anjarwalla’s escape, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) reported arresting the personnel responsible for his custody and initiating an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his departure.

While Anjarwalla’s British passport was reportedly confiscated, the whereabouts of his Kenyan passport remain unknown. Meanwhile, Gambaryan remains in custody.

Additionally, Nigerian authorities have filed tax evasion charges against Binance at the High Court in Abuja, listing Anjarwalla among the respondents. The Federal Inland Revenue Service accuses the platform of various tax-related offenses.

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Last month, Nigerian authorities tightened regulations on cryptocurrency firms, alleging their involvement in money laundering and terrorism financing. The Central Bank of Nigeria accused Binance of facilitating over $26 billion in untraceable transactions and ordered a $10 billion fine, citing currency speculation and exchange rate manipulation.

Binance, a popular cryptocurrency platform in Nigeria, faces these challenges amid the country’s economic crisis, exacerbated by currency depreciation, rising living costs, and food inflation.