Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested Monday by authorities in the Bahamas because they were notified that the U.S. Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against him and is expected to request extradition.
“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,” the government of the Bahamas said in a statement. “BF’s arrest followed receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against BF 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 BF’s arrest and hold him in custody pursuant to our nation’s Extradition Act,” the statement continued. “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.”
FTX, which is headquartered in the Bahamas, was launched in 2019 and had accrued more than one million users by 2022. Users suddenly demanded $6 billion in withdrawals after an article published by CoinDesk revealed last month that the two arms of Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency empire, FTX and Alameda Research, had significant overlap on their balance sheets in the form of the cryptocurrency FTT, which FTX invented. Rival firm Binance, which had been planning to purchase FTX, announced that it would discharge all holdings in the coin and eventually reversed course on the acquisition.
Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement that the country has a shared interest with the U.S. to hold “accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.”
“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,” Davis added.
U.S. Attorney Damian Willams said in a statement, “Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY.”
“We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time,” Williams added.
USA Damian Williams: Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 12, 2022
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