Ex-DSS boss criticises NSA’s handling of fleeing Binance Executive

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A  former Assistant Director, Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, has bemoaned how a fleeing executive of Binance, Nadeem Anjarwalla, escaped from the custody of the Office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu.

Amachree stated this on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Monday.

Anjarwalla reportedly escaped from the Abuja guest house where he and his colleague, Tigran Gambaryan were being held, Premium Times reports.

He was said to have escaped after some guards on duty escorted him to a nearby mosque for prayers.

In his interview, Amachree noted that while he wasn’t sure if the NSA, which acts as an advisory body to the President has a detention facility, it ought to have handed the crypto firm’s executives either to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the DSS for remand, if need be; pending court appearances.

Amachree said, “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?”

He said, “If the man has been flagged as a threat or a suspected person, he should have been watchlisted,” adding that Anjarwalla and Gambaryan, should have been placed on the watchlist with the Nigeria Immigration Service with their photos and names flagged at all airports across the country.

Amidst efforts to rein speculation on the naira by cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges, the Federal Government detained the two senior executives of Binance.

The charges against Binance include non-payment of Value-Added Tax, Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

Possible compromise

The former DSS assistant director recalled that in the past, Heads of State were remanded in locations where they would pray, eat and also sleep.

Amachree saw no reason why Anjarwalla would have been led to a nearby mosque and then disappeared.

“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 disappear.

“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.

While the ONSA confirmed Anjarwalla’s escape, the FG said it is in talks with the International Criminal Police Organisation for his (Anjarwalla) re-arrest.

It also said it had begun a manhunt for the Binance executive and had arrested security personnel under whose watch he escaped.

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