Nigeria teams with Interpol to return missing Binance exec

Extradition proceedings targeting a runaway Binance exec who fled Nigeria have reportedly begun with Interpol and Nigeria’s government working together to ensure his return. 

According to Nigerian publisher PUNCH, top government sources revealed on Tuesday that Binance exec Nadeem Anjarwalla’s extradition process has started.

Anjarwalla and fellow Binance exec Tigran Gambaryan were detained in February and were accused of various tax offenses on March 22. However, he fled the country that same day, slipping away while visiting a mosque. 

Two unnamed sources have confirmed that the extradition process is underway, with one source telling PUNCH, “The Federal Government is working with INTERPOL to extradite the fugitive to Nigeria.”

Read more: Former CEO of Binance ordered to hand over passports to US

Another source claimed that Nigeria’s financial law enforcement agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, is working alongside Interpol, the FBI, and the Kenyan and UK governments “to effect the arrest and extradition of Mr Anjarwalla.”

It’s unclear if Anjarwalla has been arrested or detained as part of today’s announcement and there is currently no Interpol arrest warrant issued under Anjarwalla’s name. Protos has reached out to Nigeria’s government and PUNCH for clarity on the matter. 

Interpol clarified to Protos that it is “not involved in the extradition process,” and that the agency doesn’t “comment on specific cases or individuals except in special circumstances or with the approval of the member country concerned.” 

Binance trial to happen with or without fugitive exec

The EFCC will reportedly arraign Gambaryan, Anjarwalla, and Binance Holdings Ltd on five money laundering charges this Thursday. The three are accused of laundering $35 million.

However, Anjarwalla’s legal proceedings at Nigeria’s High Court will reportedly go ahead regardless of his fugitive status, potentially charging him in his absence. 

Both Gambaryan and Anjarwalla sued the EFCC on March 28, accusing the anti-graft agency of violating their “fundamental right to personal liberty.” 

In this suit, the two requested that they be released, their passports returned, a public apology issued, and that they not be detained again. The judge avoided ruling on the matter due to a lack of legal representation from the EFCC and moved the hearing to April 8.  

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