Disclaimer: The article has been updated to clarify that the US and the UAE have an agreement on evidence sharing, judicial cooperation and assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions. As a result, U.S.-based fugitives attempting to move to Dubai will most likely be detained and sent back to the United States.
FTX former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder Gary Wang and director of engineering Nishad Singh are understood to be in the Bahamas and are “under supervision” by the local authorities.
A source familiar with the matter told Cointelegraph that the three former FTX executives, as well as Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, are looking for ways to flee to Dubai. While the plan was made assuming that the United States “doesn't have any extradition treaties” with the UAE, the nations signed a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) back on Feb. 24, 2022, to work against criminals.
“Right now three of them, Sam, Gary, and Nishad are under supervision in the Bahamas, which means it will be hard for them to leave,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. The source has also revealed that Ellison is currently in Hong Kong, adding that means “she might be able to get to Dubai.”
However, community member coinbureau cited his source in the U.S. government to confirm that FTX members attempting to reach Dubai will get detained at the airport and sent straight back to the United States.
A similar theory was discussed as part of a 16-hour-long Twitter Space by The Crypto Roundtable Show host Mario Nawfal, with a guest speaker claiming “trusted sources” have witnessed Bankman-Fried “in a locked space” with authorities in Albany Tower — a luxury resort located in New Providence in The Bahamas.
An unverified rumor also suggests that Bankman-Fried is currently joined by his father, Joseph Bankman.
Rumors that Bankman-Fried had been arrested on the tarmac at The Bahamas Airport made the rounds on Nov. 10 with evidence suggesting that Bankman-Fried’s private jet had been grounded for 40 minutes while on the way to Miami from Nassau.
On Nov. 12, rumors then pointed to Bankman-Fried having landed in Buenos Aires in the early hours of the day after Twitter users tracked the coordinates of his private jet using the flight tracking website ADS-B Exchange.
Later in the day, Bankman-Fried in a text message to Reuters denied speculation that he had fled to Argentina, claiming that he was still in The Bahamas.
Related: FTX reportedly hacked as officials flag abnormal wallet activity
The former FTX CEO is at the center of one of the industry’s biggest scandals.
A report from The Wall Street Journal on Nov. 9 suggested that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the collapse of the crypto exchange.
The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) in the state of California announced on Nov. 10 that it will open up an investigation as to the “apparent failure” of the exchange.
Approximately 130 companies in the FTX Group, including FTX Trading, FTX US, and Alameda Research started bankruptcy proceedings on Nov. 11.
Update 6:40am UTC Nov. 13: Cointelegraph has sent inquiries to FTX.
Update 10:35am UTC Nov. 13: Cointelegraph has sent additional inquiries to the Bahamas Police Force and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.