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Nigeria Seeks Extradition for Custody-Fleeing Binance Exec in Kenya

Binance exec Nadeem Anjarwalla escaped to Kenya whilst his UK passport remained in Nigerian custody

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A Binance executive who escaped custody has been tracked down to Kenya and is now facing extradition back to Nigeria.

British Kenyan Nadeem Anjarwalla and U.S. citizen Tigran Gambaryan, both Binance executives, were detained in Nigeria in February. The pair visited the country in to address allegations that the exchange's activity had crashed the country's national currency, the naira.

Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) charged the exchange and its two executives with five counts bordering on money laundering.

Anjarwalla, who serves as Binance's regional manager for Africa, escaped custody in March, with Binance stating, “We were made aware that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody. Our primary focus remains on the safety of our employees and we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to quickly resolve this issue.”

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It has since been reported by sources within the office of the Nigerian presidency that Arjarwalla flew out of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on a Middle East airline to Kenya, where he has been hiding.

It is unclear how he boarded the international flight as his UK passport is in the custody of Nigerian authorities. An immigration official claims Arjarwalla flew on a Kenyan passport but authorities are unsure about how he obtained it.

The Nigerian government is now collaborating with Interpol and Kenyan police to extradite Arjarwalla back to Nigeria to face charges against him.

Gambaryan, who is Binance's Head of Financial Crime Compliance, remains in Nigeria after several weeks of detention and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His wife and others are calling for his release through a petition.

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"He was only supposed to be there for 48 hours and traveled with just a small bag," the petition which has over 3,400 signatures, states. "Now, multiple weeks later, the Nigerian authorities continue to refuse to allow him to leave the country as they work-up bogus charges, and the conditions of his detention have worsened significantly."