Forex: More Troubles For Binance Over Anjarwalla’s Escape From Nigeria; CBN, Takes Bold Policy Initiatives Moves To Stabilize Naira

By Lateef Adegbite

  For Dennis Amachree, a former Assistant Director, Department of State Security, DSS, this is not the best of times for the office of the National security Adviser, NSA, under the close watch of Nuhu Ribadu, an Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, rtd, and former Executive Chairman, of Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, over the mysterious escape of Nadeen Anjarwalla, the 38 year –old British- Pakistanian, Citizen, who holds both the British and Keyan passports from Nigeria.

 Anjarwalla, the African regional Manager of Binance Crypto currency Exchange platform, who had been been arrested and detained by the Nigeria government alongside with Tigran  Gambaryan, a North American country of the US , citizen, in a guest house operated by the NSA office in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, had escaped to tin air from Nigeria on, Friday,  March 22, 2024,  without the knowledge of the security personnel detailed to watch over him and  his colleague .

Amachere , a former DSS, Assistant Director, had said that if the office of the NSA, had allowed  the  Ola Olukoyede  led EFCCC, or Yusuf Magaji Bichi, controlled  SSS, which has  Detention facilities  to keep the two Binance top Executives   in their custody, Anjarwalla,  who may have  proved difficult to manage  by the NSA , security personnel   would have  found it extremely  very difficult to escape.

N Ribadu: NSA

He noted that though  the office  of the  NSA, may have claimed  that  it has the capacity  and all what it takes to hold  the two  Binance top Executives in their custody at the FCT,  but Ribadu and his officials   should have gone a step further ‘’to  place them  on the watch list of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS’’, under the lose watch of Kemi Nandap  since February 26, 2024, when they were  arrested and detained in their FCT, operated guest house to forestall any plot to escape from Nigeria.

The former DSS, Assistant Director of DSS, had alluded to the fact that the NSA security personnel detailed to watch over the Binance to Executives laid the foundation for Anjarwalla, the British-Pakistan, who was already in the black book of the Nigerian government due to the crypto currency exchange platform illegal business activities in Nigeria, paving the way for him to escape.

Anjarwalla: Binance Top Executive who escaped from NSA custody in Abuja

 He had said that officials of the office of the NSA, ought   to have been aware from the onset that Anjarwalla, will take advantage of the Ramadan Festival to escape at the slightest opportunity.

 He was emphatic  that the first mistake the office of the NSA, had made was  was to detain the Binance Crypto currency Exchange platform two top Executives  in a guest House, in Abuja, where they were exposed to mobile phones, television  and other Communication facilities that was said to have  made it possible for  them   to reach out to his  friends both within and outside  Nigeria  including their  family members Anjarwalla, may have seen it as an opportunity  to  perfect his plan to escape from Nigeria.

 Many believe that the British-Pakistan   top Executive of Binance who has   made so many friends in Nigeria in the course of the Crypto currency Exchange operations may have started plotting for his escape on February 26, 2024, when he was arrested and detained with his colleague from US.

Indeed,the opportunity  for Anjarwalla to escape  from nIGeria with the support of his friends in the Keyan Embassy  may have come at the start of the Ramadan Fasting, as he was said to have  sought the permission  of the security personnel rom the office   of the,  NSA, detailed to watch over him and the American , in the NSA, Abuja operated guest house,   to allow him to go  to a nearby Mosque  on Friday, March 22, 2024, for Jumat  prayers’’ in the spirit of the Season’, leaving out Gamaryan, his Colleague from the US.

 Anjarwalla, described as a hard and smart crypto currency exchange player in financial   circles may not have taken the American detained in the NSA Guest House into confidence to avoid exposing the plot that may put him under close monitoring.  It was not surprising why he decided to go solo to actualize his plan.  He had his way. Zakari Mijinyawa, spokesperson of the NSA, had said that preliminary investigation shows that Anjarwalla, the British-Pakistani citizen had fled Nigeria using ‘’smuggled Kenyan passport’’, as his British passport has been confiscated by the Nigerian Authorities.

 Riadu who may not have found the action of the security personnel detailed to watch over the Binance top Executives funny as the information about his escape from Nigeria was said to have filtered out to the ears of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that he was said to have ordered their arrest and detention a a deterrence to others who might want to compromise their position in the future.

 Mijinyawa, spokesperson of the NSA who, had confirmed that the arrested security personnel   responsible for the custody of the two Binance top Executives are currently undergoing thorough investigation’’ to unravel the circumstances that led to Anjarwalla, the British –Pakistanian citizen escape  from Nigeria, had disclosed that the office  is working closely  with the Interpol to facilitate the re-arrest  of the runaway Binance top Executivin any part of the global crypto currency exchange market.       

   Recall that the two Binance top officials who were said to have been invited by the Nigerian government for discussions on how to save the depreciating value of the naira in the country’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, AFEM and the Parallel, popular, Black market, may have been arrested on the orders of the NSA, over the crypto currency exchange platform alleged involvement’’ in the nation’s Foreign Exchange Manipulations’’.

Cardoso” Governor, CBN

Olayemi Michael Cardoso, a former Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget  in Lagos state during Tinubu’s Administration  as governor of the south western state  and now governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , CBN, may have exposed Binance when he disclosed  that   ‘’billions  of US dollars  had passed  through the Crypto  currency platform  channel from unidentified  sources’’.

 The CBN governor, was emphatic that in the last one year alone, US $26 billion had passed through the Binance Crypto currency Exchange platform in Nigeria from sources and users   who cannot adequately be identified. The Nigerian government   had said  that  unscrupulous  elements   were using  the Binance Crypto currency Holdings  Limited channel  ‘’ for money Laundering, terrorism financing, currency speculation  and market manipulation’’, thus  ‘’distorting Nigerian economy  and weakening the naira  against other world major currencies , particular, the US  dollar, mostly  used in international transactions.

 Vice President Kashim Shettima, who incidentally was a former governor of Borno, described as a home for the Islamic Fundamentalists Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he gave a recent update on the value of the naira to other world major currencies, stressing that ‘the worst is over for Nigeria’s currency crisis’’.

The Nigerian Vice President who spoke at  the Launch of  the National Design  and Innovation  Competition at the FCT,  had said that   ‘’the naira would continue to stabilize  in the coming weeks and  months’’ as the Tinubu’s Administration takes some bold initiatives to tackle food and insecurity challenges across the country.The naira, according to the former Borno state governor, which currently exchanged at N1,396.00 to the US dollar at  AFEM  and N1,470.00 at the Parallel market would definitely stabilize.  

President Tinubu, who could not hide his feelings had said  that  the Cardoso, the CBN governor and his Management team and the Monetary Policy Committee,  ‘’deserve the Commendation of Nigerians’’  for the prompt  and determined policy  geared   to addressing  the supply  and demand sides  of the country’s foreign exchange market.

Another major move that was said to have been initiated by the government I the recent time to further stabilize the naira in both the official  and unofficial foreign exchange market, the former Borno state governor had said was the planned inclusion of  young Nigerian innovators in the US, $17.  Million investments in digital and creative enterprise s programme by the Tinubu’s Administration.

      The Vice President who would want Nigerians to put behind them the experience suffered in the hands of Binance Holdings Limited, over the last seven years and accused by the    NSA   of offering services to the subscribers in Nigeria without registering with the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS,headed Zack Aded byeji, in order   to pay all the relevant taxes   administered by the service had made it clear to those that cares to listen that the naira will eventuallystabilize.

He has reason. This is because  the Nigeria forex market  is gradually gaining back the investors confidence  going by the February  $2.3 billion   foreign portfolio that was said to have been  recorded, purchases of  naira assets which stood at $1 billion  and oversea remittances  that went up greatly, including  the oversubscription of the Federal government Bond, that had created more liquidity  and increased  market supply of the country’s forex.      

Despite detaining the two Binace top executives in an NSA operated guest house to force them to, since February compromise on the company’s business policy, since 26, 2024, the NSA, may have set the stage for their release them if they could oblige the government’s request to provide the Nigeria data on its operations   in the past seven years or risk being sent packing from Nigeria.

The arrested  Binance two top Executives were said to have declined  a request to provide the Nigerian Government with data on its operas in the country  or delete  all Nigerian information  from their platform , insisting that  that they would not  do it  until they  are taken  back to their  countries Embassies.

The Nigerian government may have concluded plans to checkmate  Financial institutions  dealing  in cryptocurrency exchange  or facilitating payments for crypto currency  exchanges over money  laundering, terrorism financing , cybercrime and volatility  of crypto currencies  to ban Binance operations in the country as obtained  in the US, United Kingdom, UK,  Japan, Italy and Canada.

Other countries where Binance Crypto currency operations were said to have been restricted or banned include Belgium,  Australia, India,  Netherlands, Thailand,  Philippines,  Germany, France and Bangladesh. This is in addition to Iran, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and the Asian country of China.

Given an insider information on the situation of things with Binance Nigeria, Cardoso, the CBN, governor   had said that the apex Bank has continued to share information with the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, and other Nigerian Government agencies including EFCC.

 He had said that’’ it is not the responsibility of the CBN, to regulate Binance and other Crypto currency Exchange platforms operation in Nigeria but that of SEC’’, noting that the issue of the detained Binance top Executives has nothing to do with the Bank as well but the office of the NSA, who is following up the matter to its logical conclusion.    

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