Nigerian authorities have asked Kenya to arrest and extradite Nadeem Anjarwalla, the Binance executive who escaped detention on March 25 after being charged with tax evasion, per the Daily Post.

A detective with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter told TechCabal the DCI has received a request to extradite Nadeem Anjarwalla from Nigeria but is yet to act.

“You cannot just walk in and arrest him based on the request. It’s a process. Also, the Anjarwallas are influential and have the backing of some powerful people,” said the detective.

Nadeem Anjarwalla is the son of Atiq Anjarwalla, a senior partner at Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates, one of the largest commercial law firms in East Africa. The law firm represents some of the top companies in the region and a list of high-net-worth individuals.

Nadeem, who holds Kenyan and British citizenship, was arrested alongside his colleague Tigran Gambrayan on February 26 when they arrived in Nigeria to discuss the government’s decision to block Binance.

While Gambrayan is still in custody and has pled not guilty to money laundering charges, Nadeem escaped from an Abuja guest house where he was held and escaped to Kenya before he was arraigned. 

Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has accused Anjarwalla and another Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, of failing to register the crypto exchange with it for tax purposes.  

FIRS said in court disclosures that Binance failed to deduct Value Added Tax (VAT) and aided users in evading taxes through its platform. Binance and the executives have denied the claims. 

Anjarwalla’s arrest and subsequent extradition could face a protracted legal challenge, dragging the Nigerian case. The process of sending a Kenyan to face trial for crimes committed in another country is complicated.

“Police agencies share information among themselves and through the Interpol. The collaboration can only go up to a certain level as allowed by the law. Effecting an Interpol red notice or a foreign arrest warrant is entirely different,” the detective said.

According to Kenya’s extradition laws, for Anjarwalla to be arrested, a Nigerian court must issue an arrest warrant, which should then be sent to Nairobi’s attorney general or cabinet secretary. Nigeria can also obtain a red notice through Interpol, the global police body.

Upon arrest, the Kenyan police must seek the consent of a court­–a process that could take months, possibly years.

A notable case that has dragged is a request to send former minister Chris Okemo and ex-Kenya Power CEO Samuel Gichuru to face money laundering and fraud charges in Jersey Island. The request was filed in 2011.

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox