Crypto Houdini? Binance Exec Escapes Amid Criminal Charges

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One of the two senior executives from crypto exchange Binance has escaped from the Nigerian authorities as criminal charges were pressed against him. The executive was first detained on February 26 as part of Nigeria’s actions against the exchange.

According to local reports, Nigeria’s Federal Government filed Tax evasion charges against Binance amid the escapist turmoil.

From Binance Executive To Crypto Escapist

A Nigerian newspaper revealed that Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the two detained Binance executives, escaped from the government’s custody almost a month after his detention. According to the report, the executive fled the country on March 22.

After the detention, Anjarwalla remained in custody at an Abuja guest house with Tigran Gambaryan, who was also detained. On Friday, guards on duty took the now-fugitive to a nearby mosque “for prayer in the spirit of the ongoing Ramadan fast.” However, Anjarwalla escaped and allegedly flew out of Abuja on a Middle East Airline.


The logistics for the escape have raised plenty of questions for authorities. The executive, who holds dual British and Kenyan citizenship, had his passport confiscated during the detention.

The investigation has unveiled that the fugitive fled the country with his Kenyan passport. Nonetheless, how he got access to this passport remains a mystery to authorities as he only carried his British travel document when detained in February.

Sources told the local news publication that the guest house where the Binance executives were held was “comfortable” and “allowed many rights.” The phone privileges are now believed to have been exploited by Anjarwalla to plot his escape.

Authorities are working on discovering the fugitive’s intended destination to get him back into custody. Moreover, the country’s authorities are allegedly in talks with Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant.

A Binance representative confirmed to CNBC that the exchange is aware of the situation and affirmed that they are collaborating with Nigerian authorities on the matter:

We were made aware that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody. Our primary focus remains on the safety of our employees and we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to quickly resolve this issue.

Binance Faces Tax Evasion Charges In Nigeria

As reported by Bitcoinist, Nigeria’s crackdown on Binance saw the crypto exchange fined $10 billion earlier this month, alleging that the platform was responsible for the devaluation of the Nigerian naira.

Subsequently, the government sent a request to the exchange’s CEO, Richard Teng. The ultimatum demanded Teng to address the allegations of “terrorist financing, money laundering, and tax evasion” in the country.

The most recent reports show that the Nigerian government filed tax evasion charges against the crypto exchange as the shocking news of Anjarwalla’s escape hit the world.

The four charges were filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja by the Federal Inland Revenue Service. Besides Binance, Anjarwalla and Gambaryan appear as the second and third defendants against the accusations.

Per the local report, the charges levied against the exchange include “non-payment of Value-Added Tax, Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.”

The Nigerian federal government also accused the crypto exchange of failing to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for tax purposes and “contravening existing tax regulations within the country.”

In November 2023, Binance pleaded guilty to charges relating to anti-money laundering in the US. This resulted in a $4.3 billion settlement with authorities, including Changpeng Zhao, stepping down as the crypto exchange’s CEO.

Binance Coin is trading at $595.1 in the weekly chart. Source: BNBUSDT on 

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