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Friday, April 19, 2024

Detained Binance executive escapes from custody

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One of the two Binance executives detained in Nigeria for alleged tax evasion and other offences, Nadeem Anjarwalla, has reportedly escaped from custody.

In February, the Federal Government detained the two senior executives of Binance.

The arrest came amidst efforts by the government to rein in speculation on the naira by cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

The charges against Binance 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.

Anjarwalla, on Friday, reportedly escaped from the Abuja guest house where he and his colleague were being held, Premium Times reports.

He was said to have escaped after some guards on duty escorted him to a nearby mosque for prayers.

The British national, who also holds Kenyan citizenship, is suspected to have departed Abuja via a Middle East airline.

How Anjarwalla boarded an international flight despite his British passport, which he used to enter Nigeria, being held by Nigerian authorities remains unclear.

Premium Times reports that authorities are also working to unravel his intended destination to get him back into custody.

An Immigration official said the Binance executive fled Nigeria on a Kenyan passport.

The official disclosed that the authorities are working on unravelling how he obtained the passport, given the fact that he had no other travel document (apart from the British passport) on him when he was arrested.

According to another insider, the two officials were detained in a “pleasant guest house” and granted numerous privileges, such as access to telephones. Anjarwalla is suspected to have taken advantage of this opportunity to plan his escape.

The Head of Strategic Communication at the Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakari Mijinyawa, could not confirm the incident when contacted on Sunday night.

Mijinyawa promised to enquire and revert.

However, he has yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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