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Nigeria Seeks INTERPOL Arrest Warrant For Fleeing Binance Executive

Nigeria has levied charges of tax evasion against the cryptocurrency platform Binance, and officials announced on Monday that they are seeking an international arrest warrant for the company’s Africa regional manager, who fled custody last week.

The manager, Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan citizen, was detained in connection with an ongoing criminal probe into Binance’s operations in Nigeria.

The office of Nigeria’s security adviser stated that they are collaborating with Interpol after Anjarwalla escaped on Friday.

In response, Binance mentioned on Monday that they are aware of Anjarwalla no longer being in Nigerian custody and are cooperating with authorities to address the matter.

Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen serving as Binance’s head of financial crime compliance, traveled to Nigeria after the country banned several cryptocurrency trading platforms and were detained upon arrival on Feb. 26.

Efforts to reach Anjarwalla and Gambaryan have been unsuccessful.

A representative speaking on their behalf, requesting anonymity, stated that the two officials have been unlawfully held since their initial detention order expired on March 12. The representative added that Anjarwalla left Nigeria through legal means.

Sources familiar with the situation, who preferred not to be named due to lack of authorization to speak publicly, shared that Nigerian authorities sought an extension of the detention for the two Binance executives after the initial warrant under which they were held had lapsed.

The charges from FIRS include non-payment of value-added tax (VAT), company income tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in assisting customers to evade taxes through its platform.

Binance did not immediately respond to inquiries regarding the tax allegations.

Earlier this month, Binance announced it would halt all transactions and trading in Nigeria’s local currency after March 8 due to a nationwide crackdown on crypto exchanges, which authorities claim have contributed to the demand for U.S. dollars on the black market.

The company stated that it would cease support for withdrawals, and any remaining balances in Nigerian naira would be automatically converted into Tether, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.

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