The arrest was made following a request from the United States government.
Sam Bankman-Fried, bankrupt crypto exchange FTX founder and former CEO, was arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
According to the news report shared by New York Times, Bankman-Fried was arrested following the request from the United States authorities. The US filed criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, claiming that he participated in “wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.”
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In a December 12th statement, Bahamas Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Ryan Pinder, noted:
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.
On top of that, Pinder added that Bahama’s are currently waiting for a formal request for extradition and will continue to process the matter “promptly, pursuant to Bahamian law and its treaty obligations with the United States."
The news were also confirmed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
It seems that a great number of institutions in the United States are looking to press their own charges against Sam Bankamn-Fried. In the statement shared by Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal revealed that The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is planning to bring its own charges.
We commend our law enforcement partners for working to secure the arrest of Mr. Sam Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas on federal criminal charges. The Securities and Exchange Commission has separately authorized charges relating to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s violations of our securities laws, which will be filed publicly tomorrow in the Southern District of New York.
Rumor has it that Sam Bankman-Fried was ready to testify against the US Congress on December 13th, after a long week of pressure from US representative and the House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters. Regarding the matter, Maxine Waters stated:
It’s about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun. However, as the public knows, my staff and I have been working diligently for the past month to secure Mr. Bankman-Fried’s testimony before our Committee tomorrow morning.
In this case, Bahamian authorities were faster to arrest Bankman-Fried, leaving the US Congress without Sam Bankman-Fried's testimony.