Nigeria Seeks to Extradite Fugitive Binance Official From Kenya

Nigeria Seeks to Extradite Fugitive Binance Official From Kenya

The mysterious escape of Binance executive Nadeem Arjwalla from Nigeria custody has been the center of discussion in the past few days. To silence the tide of skepticism, the Nigerian law enforcers took decisive action to bring Arjwalla back into custody.

In an official publication, the Nigerian authority revealed plans to trace Arjwalla’s whereabouts. The authorities claimed that Arjwalla traveled to Kenya after he escaped custody.

Nigeria Liaise With Global Regulators to Trace Binance Official in Kenya

A source privy to the information stated that the Binance executive went into hidding after arriving in the East African country. The report demonstrated that the Nigerian authority will work closely with the Kenya Police and Interpol to bring Arjwalla back to Nigeria.

Even though the progress of the ongoing investigations has not been disclosed, the law enforcers are determined to charge Arjwalla and his colleague Tigran Gambaryan. The two were arrested in Abuja after arriving for a meeting with the Nigerian authority. They were accused of fraud and engaging in tax cheats, which was against Nigerian law.

The law enforcers directed Gambaryan and Arjwalla to serve a 40-day imprisonment to allow the authority to proceed with the investigations. According to Time Newspaper, Arjwalla escaped custody late last month while being escorted to the Friday morning prayers.

A statement from the Nigerian National Security Adviser Zakari Mijinyaw spokesperson confirmed that the individuals responsible for the custody of Arjwalla were arrested for further interrogation. The spokesperson added that a thorough investigation would be conducted into Arjwalla’s escape.

The official stated that Arjwalla used his Kenya passport to flee Nigeria. Subsequently, the authority claimed that Arjwalla had boarded a Middle East airline to escape custody.

Even though it’s still unclear how Arjwalla obtained his Kenyan passport, the law enforcer confirmed the confiscation of his travel document for the immediately after his arrest. As the regulators initiate a thorough search to bring Arjwalla back to Nigeria, his colleague Mr Gambaryan pleads guilty to the fraud charges.

In a recent report, Gambaryan’s wife filed a motion to bring his husband to the United States. Her efforts to ensure Gambaryan was safe received support from Binance and other supporters.

Binance Officials Charged in Nigeria

A review of the court report demonstrated that the petition presented by Gambaryan’s wife had over 3373 signatories. The wife described Gambaryan’s detention in Nigeria as unjust and urged the community to support her.

In response to the Binance request and Gambaryan’s wife’s petition, the Nigeria court has scheduled to arraign the Gambaryan on April 19.

Besides the  arrest of the two officials, the Nigerian government ordered Binance to suspend operations in West Africa. The authority claimed that Binance used a platform to launder illicit funds.

The restrictive measure imposed on the Binance aimed at stabilizing the value of the Naira. For the past few months, the Nigerians have demonstrated a growing demand for the dollar, affecting the Naira’s value.

As the investigation continues on Binance operations in the country, the authority profiles Nigeria as the largest crypto economy in Africa. They noted that most of Nigeria preferred crypto to local fiat currency.

Factors Contributing to the Devaluation of Naira

The devaluation of the Naira forced the Nigerian authorities to impose measures that would enable the country to curb the biting inflation and stimulate economic growth. This decrease in the value of the Naira obliged the Nigerian government to probe the investors who were actively engaging in unlawful activities.

In a recent court hearing, the legislator demanded that Binance disclose the names of local investors trading on the platform for the last six months. The court’s interim orders requested the controversial crypto exchange to provide a comprehensive report on individual trading on Binance.

In support of the court orders, the governor of the Nigerian central bank, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, claimed that most of the crypto exchanges operating in the region facilitated the transfer of illicit funds.

He regretted that some of the business practices implemented by crypto exchanges supported the flow of illicit funds. The official noted that over $26 billion was channeled through Binance from unknown sources from last year.

Editorial credit: JOCA_PH /

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