Nigeria Seeks Extradition of Binance Executive Found in Kenya

    Nigeria seeks extradition of Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla from Kenya amidst ongoing investigations into alleged Naira manipulation and illicit fund transactions. Binance halts naira transactions in Nigeria following crackdown on suspected money laundering activities.

    • Nigerian government pursues extradition of Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, from Kenya.
    • Anjarwalla allegedly involved in manipulation of Naira and illicit fund transactions through Binance.
    • Ongoing investigations into how Anjarwalla acquired a Kenyan passport to escape from Nigeria.
    • Binance’s Tigran Gambaryan remains in custody in Nigeria, facing legal proceedings.
    • Binance halts naira transactions in Nigeria amid crackdown on suspected money laundering activities.

    Nigeria’s Pursuit of Extradition

    Nigeria’s government is actively seeking the extradition of Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla, who fled from custody in Nigeria and was subsequently located in Kenya. Working in collaboration with Interpol and Kenyan authorities, Nigeria aims to bring Anjarwalla back to face charges related to alleged Naira manipulation and facilitating illicit fund transactions through Binance. Anjarwalla managed to leave Nigeria despite holding a U.K. passport under Nigerian authorities’ possession, using a Kenyan passport to board a Middle Eastern airline from Abuja. Investigations are underway to ascertain how he obtained the Kenyan passport without other travel documents, involving multiple agencies such as the police, military, Department of State Services, and the National Intelligence Agency.

    Meanwhile, another Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, remains in Nigerian custody, awaiting further legal proceedings. Gambaryan, who pleaded not guilty, has garnered support from his wife, who initiated a petition to bring him back to the United States. However, Binance argued that Gambaryan held no decision-making power in the company to secure his release.

    Binance’s Response and Market Impact

    In response to the ongoing investigations and legal proceedings, Binance took significant steps in the Nigerian market. On March 5, the exchange suspended all naira transactions and removed naira trading pairs from its peer-to-peer platform, effectively withdrawing from Nigeria’s cryptocurrency market. This decision followed efforts by the Nigerian government, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to clamp down on suspected money laundering activities involving cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance, among other platforms, faced accusations of exacerbating Nigeria’s currency challenges by providing avenues for trading the naira amidst chronic dollar shortages.

    The Central Bank of Nigeria, represented by Governor Olayemi Cardoso, had previously expressed concerns about crypto exchanges in the country facilitating illicit transactions, amounting to billions of dollars. The extradition efforts and legal actions against Binance executives mark a significant development in Nigeria’s regulatory stance towards cryptocurrency exchanges and their operations within the country.

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