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Nigeria News

FG traces fleeing Binance executive to Kenya

The Federal Government has traced fleeing Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, to Kenya, following his escape from custody in Nigeria.

Following the development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the International Criminal Police, the Nigeria Police Force and the Kenyan Police Service have deepened talks to quicken Anjarwalla’s extradition.

Sources in the Presidency who are on top of the case told Saturday PUNCH that Anjarwalla, whose cover has now been blown, went into hiding immediately after he landed in Kenya.

The source revealed, “We have found him. We know where he is. He is in Kenya, and we’re working with the authorities to bring him back to Nigeria.”

Another source also close to the matter, corroborated the first source’s statement.

The source noted, “All hands are on the deck. The government and all the security agencies are working hard in conjunction with the Kenyan authorities and INTERPOL, to ensure his return to Nigeria to face the charges brought against him.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, had in the March edition of the agency’s bulletin titled, “EFCC Alert,” which was released last week, confirmed that the commission was working in conjunction with the International Criminal Police Organisation, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya to extradite Anjarwalla.

Olukoyede noted, “The takeover of the prosecution of Binance chiefs by the commission is no less a strong message in the direction of EFCC’s resolve to hedge in distortions and disruptions in the country’s forex market.

“Tax evasion, currency speculation and money laundering to the tune of $35.4m  are at the foundation of the commission’s five-count charges against Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the company’s chief executives.

“While Gambaryan is currently in the commission’s net, the process of extraditing the fleeing Anjarwalla is revving in full swing.

“Involved in partnership with the EFCC to nick Anjarwalla in flight are the International Criminal Police Organisation, the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya as the clock winds down to his arraignment in absentia alongside the company and Gambaryan.”

Saturday PUNCH had earlier reported that the Federal Government had commenced the extradition process of Anjarwalla back to Nigeria, over alleged $35,400,000 money laundering.

“Mr Anjarwalla’s extradition process has begun. The FG is working as did with INTERPOL to extradite the fugitive to Nigeria. He’s a fugitive that escaped from lawful custody, and his other partner is still in custody and would be arraigned on Thursday alongside their company, Binance,” a source had noted.

Another source revealed, “It is true that the FG has commenced the process of extraditing Binance’ Anjarwalla to bring him back to Nigeria to answer to his money laundering case in court, among others. The arraignment of Binance and Gambaryan in court on Thursday would also aid Anjarwalla’s extradition.”

Meanwhile, a top security source, working on the matter, confirmed to our correspondent that the soldiers detailed to monitor Anjarwalla were being grilled by special investigators drawn from the military, Department of State Services, Police, EFCC, and the National Intelligence Agency.

“The soldiers detailed to monitor Anjarwalla have been detained as you know, and they’re still being grilled by special investigators drawn from various security and intelligence agencies and services- the military, DSS, NIA, and the police, all hands are on deck, as it is a matter of national security,” the source stated.

 The EFCC had on Thursday, April 4, arraigned Binance Holdings Limited and two of its senior executives, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla (now at large) on money laundering allegations.

The EFCC, which has now fully taken over the case from the Office of the National Security Adviser, has also detained Mr Gambaryan and has obtained a court warrant to arrest and extradite Mr Anjarwalla.

Confirming the development to our correspondent on Friday, impeccable sources noted that Mr Anjarwalla would be arraigned in absentia alongside Binance and Mr Gambaryan who’s now in EFCC custody.

“The detained Binance executive, Gambaryan is now in custody of the EFCC. The NSA has handed over the matter to the EFCC for investigation and prosecution. The commission has charged Binance, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla to court for $35,400,000 money laundering, and they’ll be arraigned in court on Thursday, April 4, 2024.” a source noted.

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