VIRAL: Shock as Binance executive mysteriously escapes from custody in Abuja

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Shock as Binance executive mysteriously escapes from custody in Abuja

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A Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who was detained in Nigeria for alleged tax evasion and other offenses, has managed to escape from custody.

According to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Anjarwalla, 38, escaped on Friday, 22 March, from the Abuja guest where he and his colleague were detained after guards on duty led him to a nearby mosque for prayers in the spirit of the ongoing Ramadan fast.

Shock as Binance executive escapes from custody in AbujaThe suspect Nadeem Anjarwalla

The Briton, who also has Kenyan citizenship, is believed to have flown out of Abuja using a Middle East airliner.

It remains unclear how the Binance executive who is believed to have escaped using an international flight despite his passport, with which he entered Nigeria, remaining in the custody of the authorities.

Authorities are also said to be working to unravel his intended destination in a bid to get him back into custody.

An Immigration official said the Binance executive fled Nigeria on a Kenyan passport. He, however, said authorities were trying to determine how he obtained the passport, given that he had no other travel document (apart from the British passport) on him when he was taken into custody.

Another source said the two officials were held at a “comfortable guest house” and allowed many rights, including the use of telephones, a privilege Mr Anjarwalla is believed to have exploited to plot an escape.

When contacted Sunday night on the escaped Binance executive, the Head of Strategic Communication at the Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakari Mijinyawa, said he would enquire and revert. He has yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

Mr Anjarwalla, Binance's regional manager, and Tigran Gambaryan, a US citizen overseeing financial crime compliance at the crypto exchange platform, were detained upon their arrival in Nigeria on 26 February .

A criminal charge was filed against the two executives before a Magistrate Court in Abuja. On 28 February 2024, the court granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission () an order to remand the duo for 14 days. The court also ordered Binance to provide the Nigerian with the data/information of Nigerians trading on its platform.

Following Binance's refusal to comply with the order, the court extended the remand of the officials for an additional 14 days to prevent them from tampering with . The court then adjourned the case till 4 April 2024.

Also on 22 March, the Nigerian government approached the Federal High Court in Abuja and slammed another four-count charge on Binance Holdings Limited, Mr Anjarwalla and Mr Gambaryan, accusing them of offering services to subscribers on their platform while failing to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to pay all relevant taxes administered by the Service and in so doing, committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 8 of the Value Added Tax Act of 1993 (as Amended).

The defendants were also accused of offering taxable services to subscribers on their trading platform while failing to issue invoices to those subscribers to determine and pay their value-added taxes and, in so doing, committed an offence contrary to and punishable under S.29 of the Value Added Tax Act of 1993 (as amended).

The Nigerian government said over $21.6 billion was traded by Nigerians whose identities were concealed by Binance.

The government also claimed its investigations revealed that unscrupulous elements were using Binance for money laundering, terrorist financing, currency speculation and market manipulation, distorting the Nigerian economy and weakening the against other currencies

The detention of Binance executive and his colleague who escaped from Nigeria began months after the crypto exchange platform pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle criminal money laundering charges levied by the US Department of .

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, pleaded guilty and agreed to resign. His criminal trial has been postponed to 30 April by a US court.

Source: Premium Times

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