NSA Should Have Transferred Binance Officials To EFCC – Ex-DSS Boss

The ex-DSS director said Anjarwalla and Gambaryan should have been placed on watchlist with the Nigeria Immigration Service with their photos and names flagged at all airports across the country.

Nadeem Anjarwalla -binance-executive-escape-
A file photo combo of Nadeem Anjarwalla and the Binance logo.


A  former Assistant Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Dennis Amachree, says the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) is not a security agency with no detention facility and should have transfer fleeing Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the secret police for custody.

Amachree, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Monday, said the suspect and his colleague at the cryptocurrency exchange platform, Tigran Gambaryan, should have been watch-listed when they were detained in Abuja late February.



The ex-DSS director said Anjarwalla and Gambaryan should have been placed on watchlist with the Nigeria Immigration Service with their photos and names flagged at all airports across the country.

Amachree said, “If the man has been flagged as a threat or a suspected person, he should have been watchlisted.

“I don’t know whether the NSA has a detention facility. The NSA is an advisory body to the President. So, if he (NSA Nuhu Ribadu) felt that the suspects should be remanded, he should have sent him to the EFCC or the DSS to keep until the date of the court but to keep him in a guest house where he has access to telephone?

“For them now to allow him to go and pray? I think there are a lot of loopholes and lapses there. We have held heads of state in detention and they prayed where to live and eat and sleep. So, I don’t see why this particular guy will be allowed to go to the nearest mosque to pray and dissapeared.”

“There is a compromise,” the security expert said, stressing that the fleeing suspect must have rubbed hands with some conniving security agents. “I’m happy they’ve arrested some of them. Let them interrogate them and tell us how much he gave them,” he said.

Wobbling Naira & Clampdown On Crypto Platforms

Nigeria is battling rising inflation, food inflation, forex crisis, economic hardship and high cost of living occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, attracting protests in parts of the country.

The Nigerian naira has seen a dip in the last nine months since the President Bola Tinubu administration collapsed the foreign exchange window. The naira experienced an all-time low, falling from about N700/$1 last May to about N2,000/$1 last month, before its appreciation in March.

The authorities have since turned their focus to cryptocurrency websites, accusing them of speculation, clamping down on them through telecommunication companies.

In February, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, said $26bn suspicious flows in the form crypto exchanges passed through Binance.

The same month, Anjarwalla and Gambaryan were arrested in Nigeria and the government demanded about $10bn compensation from the cryptocurrency platform on allegations of manipulation of foreign exchange rates which has negatively affected the value of the naira against the dollar.

The crypto platform subsequently ended its naira services while the House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the national security implications of cryptocurrency, and other digital asset transactions.

Subsequently, the government approached the court to compel Binance to publish the names of its Nigerian traders but the platform won’t budge.

The government also filed tax evasion charges against the platform, just as the NSA office said Anjarwalla escaped from custody when he observed a Jumat prayer last Friday, March 22, 2024, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“Preliminary investigation shows that Mr Anjarwalla fled Nigeria using a smuggled passport,” it said.

“The personnel responsible for the custody of the suspect have been arrested, and a thorough investigation is ongoing to unravel the circumstances that led to his escape from lawful detention.”

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

Manhunt For Fleeing Official

Meanwhile, the Federal Government said it has activated all operations including contacting Interpol to ensure the re-arrest Anjarwalla.

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zack Adedeji, told State House Correspondents on Monday that all litigations filed against Anjarwalla would be pursued to a logical conclusion.

He also doused the tension over whether the Federal government will lose the fine slammed on the Binance.

“It doesn’t matter because we are dealing with a company, not individual. So, irrespective of where they are in the world, we have what it takes to make sure they come and comply with our laws,” he stated.