Report: Binance regional manager for Africa fell ill in Nigerian detention

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance regional manager for Africa Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance regional manager for Africa

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, reportedly fell ill while in detention in Nigeria, WIRED is reporting.

On February 28, the Financial Times reported the federal government detained two top executives of Binance, a cryptocurrency trading platform.

The executives have been identified as Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old United Kingdom and Kenyan national, and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old United States citizen and Binance’s head of financial crime compliance.

Anjarwalla and Gambaryan had flown into Nigeria but had their passports seized by the office of the national security adviser.


The report said the executives visited Nigeria in response to the country’s recent crackdown on various cryptocurrency trading platforms.  

Although the reasons for their detention are unknown, their arrest is coming amid allegation of manipulation in foreign exchange trading in Nigeria.

According to a report by WIRED on Tuesday, the detainees’ families have raised concerns about the situation and efforts made to visit their loved ones.


The publication said the Binance officials were transferred to a local hospital after Anjarwalla fell ill last week, possibly due to malaria — although the report also said his exact symptoms were unclear.

“He has since recovered, however, and the two men were returned to the Nigerian government house, where they’ve been held since,” the report said.


The report said Gambaryan, has been visited by a US state department official and Anjarwalla by a representative of the UK foreign office.


Gambaryan, who formerly worked as a US federal agent, joined Binance’s criminal investigations team in 2021.

According to the publication, security operatives are always present in meetings, preventing them from speaking privately.

“There’s no definite answer for anything: how’s he doing, what’s going to happen to him, when he’s coming back. And not knowing that is killing me,” Yuki, Gambaryan’s wife told WIRED.

A spokesperson for Binance told the publication that they are working to ensure the freedom of their officials.


“While it is inappropriate for us to comment on the substance of the claims at this time, we can say that we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to bring Nadeem and Tigran back home safely to their families,” the official said.

“They are professionals with the highest integrity and we will provide them with all the support we can. We trust there will be a swift resolution to this matter.”


Meanwhile, on February 27, Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year.

Cardoso said the apex bank is collaborating with the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) to ensure there is no manipulation in the FX market.


He said there was also collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), police, and the office of the NSA.

Also, despite the federal government and the CBN’s plan to clamp down on cryptocurrency trading, Binance is still operational.


The crypto firm, however, has discontinued the trading of the naira against bitcoin and tether cryptocurrencies on its exchange platform.

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