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EFCC Seeks Detention of Two Binance Executives

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has requested that an Abuja federal high court extend the custody of two executives from Binance who were detained during the nationwide cryptocurrency crackdown, sources familiar with the case indicate, after the initial detention warrant expired.

Following Nigeria’s ban on various cryptocurrency trading sites, Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan, an American who is the head of financial crime compliance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British Kenyan who is the regional manager for Africa, travelled to the country.

They were arrested upon their arrival on February 26. They have not been charged with any crime.

According to court records, the EFCC in Nigeria got an order to detain the couple for two weeks to assist with their investigations.

Although the detention order expired on Tuesday, the suspects remain in custody since the EFCC has requested an extension to continue its investigation.

According to the source, the lawyers for the two CEOs say that there is no reason to keep them in detention. Another person close to the men’s families indicated that a hearing has been planned on March 20, during which the court will either dismiss or grant the extension request on that day or later.

On February 28, the federal government detained two key executives of Binance, a popular cryptocurrency trading platform, for allegedly manipulating foreign exchange trading and speculative activity.

The executives travelled to Nigeria in reaction to the country’s recent ban on several bitcoin trading platforms.

During their visit, they were detained by the Office of the National Security Adviser and had their passports confiscated.

Following the executives’ incarceration, the crypto trading platform advised Nigerians trading on its exchange to withdraw all NGN assets as it suspends operations in the country.

The corporation will no longer take Naira deposits starting today, March 5. Nigerians have till March 8 to withdraw their funds.

Binance stated that any assets not withdrawn by that date will be converted to USDT.

Nigeria is requesting information on the top 100 users and transaction data for the past six months from the bitcoin trading platform, as reported by Financial Times.

The office of Nigeria’s national security adviser has also asked the exchange to settle any outstanding tax arrears.

Nigeria has shifted its emphasis to Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms as it strives to avert its worst economic catastrophe in three decades and restore citizens’ trust in its battered currency.

The government of President Bola Tinubu has implemented broad market-friendly changes in order to attract foreign investment.

It also depreciated its currency, pushing inflation to an almost three-decade high of 29.9%.

Cryptocurrency sites have developed as an alternative to establishing an unofficial price for the Nigerian currency, with Binance being the largest marketplace.

However, Olayemi Cardoso, Nigeria’s central bank governor, stated last month that $26 billion moved through Binance in the last year via sources we “cannot adequately identify.”

He did not, however, identify the two executives.

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