Embattled crypto lord, Bankman-Fried has been arrested by Bahamas authorities just after the United States law enforcement authorities filed charges against him.
The Attorney General of Bahamas, Ryan Pinder in a statement confirmed that the U.S. authorities had filed unspecified criminal charges against the former crypto billionaire, adding that it was “likely to request his extradition.”
The statement reads:
“On 12 December 2022, the Office of the Attorney General of The Bahamas is announcing the arrest by The Royal Bahamas Police Force of Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”, former CEO of FTX. SBF’s arrest followed receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against SBF and is likely to request his extradition.
“As a result of the notification received and the material provided therewith, it was deemed
appropriate for the Attorney General to seek SBF’s arrest and hold him in custody pursuant
to our nation’s Extradition Act.
“At such time as a formal request for extradition is made, The Bahamas intends to process it promptly, pursuant to Bahamian law and its treaty obligations with the United States.
As the Founder of FTX, a crypto exchange firm, Bankman-Fried was summoned to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on the 14th of December, an invitation he said he would not honour.
Today’s arrest will be the first physical move by law enforcement and regulators to hold individuals accountable for the multi-billion dollar implosion of FTX last month.
Founded in 2019 as a cryptocurrency and hedge company, FTX by July 2021, had reached it peak, having one million users and was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.
The now defunct digital asset company, closely associated with FTX.US, a separate exchange available to US residents wasincorporated in Antigua and Barbuda and headquartered in The Bahamas.
A dip in crypto fortuned ensured that the company and its affiliates in November 2022 filed for bankruptcy, with Bankman-Fried stepping down from his role as CEO. The crypto trading firm imploded in spectacular fashion following a run on assets similar to a bank run.
In his response to Bankman Fried arrest Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davies noted that the U.S. and Bahamas have the same mandate to hold accountable all person associated with FTX who may have betrayed broken trust and broken the law in the process.
“While the United States is pursuing criminal charges against SBF individually, The Bahamas will continue its own regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX, with the continued cooperation of its law enforcement and regulatory partners in the United States and elsewhere”, Davies said.