Nigeria Cracks Down On Currency Destroying Crypto

Amy Ishlan
March 27, 2024

Nigeria invites two Binance executives to the country and then detains them.

Inputs that matter: ABC reports, "Nigeria is Africa's largest crypto economy in terms of trade volume with many citizens using crypto to hedge their finances against surging inflation and the declining local currency."

  • CoinDesk details that after weeks in custody, "Nadeem Anjarwalla has escaped."
  • CNBC explains, "Binance faces charges of alleged non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and company income tax, failure to submit tax returns and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform, the reports said."
  • Quartz states, "The tussle between Nigeria and Binance began in February when the country alleged the crypto exchange of destabilizing the national currency, the naira."
  • "The West African country, known for being a global crypto hub, has been suffering an economic crisis for some time."

The opportunity: BBC explains, "Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan dual national, was arrested in February with his US colleague Tigran Gambaryan."

  • "The country is now "working with Interpol for an international arrest warrant on the suspect", the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) said in a statement."
  • ABC confirms, "Binance stopped all trading with the Nigerian naira currency on its platform in early March."

Zoom in: CNBC reports, "Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Monday announced that four new charges relating to tax evasion had been filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja."

  • Business Insider details Binance's Africa manager, Nadeem Anjarwalla, reportedly fled the country after being taken to pray at a mosque.
  • Binance released a statement: "Our primary focus remains on the safety of our employees, and we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to resolve this issue quickly."

Between the lines: CoinDesk writes, "News of the charges follows weeks of scrutiny and criticism of the crypto exchange by the Nigerian government."

  • "Last year, the country's Securities and Exchange Commission said Binance Nigeria was not authorized to operate in the country."

Follow the money: Business Insider explains that the Nigerian naira plunged 70% against the US dollar over the past year due to Nigerians storing their money in alternative assets like Bitcoin.

  • Nigerian officials have cracked down on crypto exchanges operating in their country.

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