CryptoNews Update

Binance Executive Who Fled Nigerian Custody Arrested in Kenya, Set for Extradition

A Binance executive who escaped Nigerian custody has been arrested in Kenya and faces extradition to Nigeria this week, according to unnamed Nigerian government sources.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager, was detained in Kenya and is set to be extradited. Discussions are ongoing between Nigerian authorities, the International Criminal Police, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Kenyan Police Service regarding his extradition.

Anjarwalla, a British Kenyan, fled Nigeria in March using a concealed passport. He and his colleague, Binance’s Head of Financial Crime Compliance Tigran Gambaryan, were originally detained in Nigeria in February during an investigation into crypto exchanges.

Nigeria had demanded information on Binance’s top users in the country and their recent transaction history as part of the probe.

Who is Nadeem Anjarwalla?

Nadeem Anjarwalla is a British lawyer and the Kenya-based manager of Binance Africa.

Before joining Binance, Nadeem served as a Partner for Global Founders Capital, a global venture capital fund. In this role, he made and managed fund investments across Africa, primarily focusing on early-stage technology-enabled businesses. He also served as the General Manager for Uber Eats.

According to Stanford University, where he obtained his Masters Degree, Nadeem originally hails from Mombasa, Kenya, and joined the 2013 cohort. His primary focus of study was on the relationship between government policy and business development in Sub-Saharan Africa and how business models adapt to growing government intervention in the market economy.

Before enrolling at Stanford, Nadeem practiced law at a Nairobi law firm. He was exposed to regulatory and commercial frameworks across countries in East Africa, particularly in the oil and gas, energy, and real estate sectors.

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Nadeem holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford, a Law degree from BPP Law School, and an MA from Stanford University.

Charges against Binance by the Nigerian government

The federal government has stated its commitment to ensuring compliance with tax regulations and tackling any financial wrongdoing within the cryptocurrency sector.

The government has initiated legal action against Binance due to suspected fraudulent activities that have caused economic disruptions in Nigeria.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) announced on Monday that they have formally filed charges against Binance in the Federal High Court, Abuja.

In suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, Binance is accused of four counts of tax evasion.

Two senior executives of Binance, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, are named as the second and third defendants in the suit.

The charges against Binance include allegations of non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and aiding customers in evading taxes through the platform.

It is alleged that Binance failed to register with FIRS for tax purposes, which is contrary to tax regulations in the country.

Additionally, Binance allegedly failed to collect and remit various categories of taxes to the federation, as prescribed by Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 as amended.

The revenue agency asserts that this section clearly addresses non-deduction and non-remittance of taxes, prescribing penalties and potential imprisonment for those who violate it.

Binance is accused of violating tax laws, such as failing to issue invoices for VAT purposes, making it difficult for subscribers to understand and pay taxes.

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According to FIRS, any company conducting business with an annual turnover exceeding N25 million is required by the Finance Act to operate in Nigeria and pay taxes such as Company Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT). However, Binance allegedly failed to comply with these requirements, thus violating Nigerian laws and potentially facing investigation and legal action for this infraction.

In 2023, Binance pleaded guilty to violating anti-money laundering laws in the United States, resulting in a plea bargain agreement where the company paid a hefty fine of $4.3 billion.

Ibrahim Ismail

A passionate and highly skilled individual who has seamlessly blended the worlds of statistics, technology, and finance.

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