Nigeria moves to extradite escaped Binance exec Nadeem Anjarwalla

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Nigerian authorities have formally requested Kenya’s assistance in apprehending and extraditing Nadeem Anjarwalla, a Binance executive who managed to escape detention on March 25th after being charged with tax evasion, as reported by the Daily Post.

A detective from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, disclosed to TechCabal that the DCI has indeed received the extradition request for Nadeem Anjarwalla from Nigeria, although no action has been taken yet.

“The extradition process cannot be initiated immediately upon receipt of the request. It involves a structured legal procedure. Additionally, the Anjarwallas wield considerable influence and enjoy support from influential quarters,” the detective explained.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, the son of Atiq Anjarwalla, a prominent partner at Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates, a leading commercial law firm in East Africa, holds both Kenyan and British citizenship.

His arrest, along with his colleague Tigran Gambrayan on February 26th in Nigeria, occurred during their visit to discuss the Nigerian government’s decision to block Binance.

While Tigran Gambrayan remains in custody, having pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges, Nadeem managed to escape from a guest house in Abuja where he was being held and fled to Kenya before facing arraignment.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria has accused Anjarwalla and another Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, of failure to register the cryptocurrency exchange for tax purposes. FIRS alleges that Binance failed to deduct Value Added Tax (VAT) and facilitated tax evasion by its platform users, allegations which Binance and the executives have refuted.

The potential arrest and extradition of Anjarwalla could encounter significant legal hurdles, potentially prolonging the Nigerian legal proceedings. The extradition process involving a Kenyan national facing charges in another country is complex and may involve protracted legal battles.

“Law enforcement agencies exchange information and collaborate through Interpol. However, there are legal limitations to this cooperation. Executing an Interpol red notice or a foreign arrest warrant involves a distinct legal process,” the detective elaborated.

Under Kenya’s extradition laws, the arrest of Anjarwalla requires the issuance of an arrest warrant by a Nigerian court, which must then be forwarded to the Attorney General or Cabinet Secretary in Nairobi. Alternatively, Nigeria may seek a red notice through Interpol.

Once arrested, Kenyan authorities must seek court consent, a process that could extend over months or even years.

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