EFCC Freezes Over 300 Accounts Over Suspicious FX Flows

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, says the anti-graft agency has discovered another worse scheme other than crypto trading platform Binance and its system.

He said the agency has frozen about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The scheme popularly called the “P to P” peer- peer financial trading scheme has operated outside the official banking and financial corridors and there was a looming disaster that could further crashed the Naira value that has continued to gain.

“There are people in this country doing worse than Binance,” he said, adding that over $15bn passed through one of the platforms in the last one year, outside the financial regulations.

Meanwhile, police authorities in Kenya have reportedly arrested Nadeem Anjarwalla, an executive of cryptocurrency platform Binance, who fled Nigeria some weeks ago.

Anjarwalla had escaped from custody in Nigeria following the Federal Government’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency platform in a bid to strengthen the naira.

While the Nigerian authorities later traced Anjarwalla to the East African nation, multiple reports say the Binance executive is now in the custody of the Kenyan police.

According to the reports, government sources in Kenya confirmed that the Binance chief is now in the custody of the country’s police.

Since he escaped from Nigeria, the EFCC, the International Criminal Police, the Nigeria Police Force and the Kenyan Police Service have been in talks to extradite Anjarwalla.

In March, the EFCC confirmed plans to extradite the Binance chief in the agency’s bulletin for the month.

“The takeover of the prosecution of Binance chiefs by the commission is no less a strong message in the direction of EFCC’s resolve to hedge in distortions and disruptions in the country’s forex market,” the anti-graft agency’s chief had said.

“Tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering to the tune of $35,400,000 and are at the foundation of the Commission’s five counts against Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the company’s chief executives.

“While Gambaryan is currently in the Commission’s net, the process of extraditing the fleeing Anjarwalla is revving in full swing. Involved in partnership with the EFCC to nick Anjarwalla in flight are the International Criminal Police Organisation, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya as the clock winds down to his arraignment in absentia alongside the company and Gambaryan.”

Until his escape, Anjarwalla, who holds British and Kenyan citizenship and serves as Binance’s Africa Regional Manager, was facing trial in Nigerian courts.

The suspect escaped while under a 14-day remand order by a court. He was scheduled to appear before it again on April 4, 2024.

In recent months, the Nigerian government has heightened its crackdown on Binance. Anjarwalla was one of the cryptocurrency chiefs arrested in the wake of the tussle.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had claimed that over $26bn was channelled through Binance without a trace.

“In the last year,” CBN governor Yemi Cardoso said, “more than $26 billion have been funnelled through Binance without trace”.

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