FTX FOUNDER ARRESTED: US expected to seek extradition

SAM Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX.
(Good Morning America/ABC News via AP)

SAM Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX. (Good Morning America/ABC News via AP)

MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in Magistrates Court on Tuesday before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt – full story HERE.


ATTORNEY General Ryan Pinder. (File photo)


Tribune Staff reporter


SAM Bankman-Fried, former CEO of crypto giant FTX, was arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force yesterday and will likely face extradition to the United States, Attorney General Ryan Pinder announced.

In a statement issued last night, Senator Pinder said Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) 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”.

He added: “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.”

Responding to the former billionaire’s arrest, Prime Minister Philip Davis said The Bahamas will continue to investigate Mr Bankman-Fried.

“The Bahamas and the United States have a shared interest in holding 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,” Mr Davis said.

The arrest came as a result of a sealed indictment from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the US 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,” Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on Twitter yesterday.

FTX, Alameda Research, and “dozens other affiliated companies” filed a bankruptcy petition in Delaware last month after facing a liquidity crisis.

FTX Digital Markets, which is headquartered in The Bahamas, is the Bahamian subsidiary of FTX Trading Ltd, the owner and operator of FTX.


PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis at the official opening of the FTX Digital Markets Headquarters alongside Sam Bankman-Fried.

It was incorporated in The Bahamas in July 2021.

The firm’s collapse is currently being investigated by local and international law enforcement agencies, who are probing the handling of FTX customers’ funds.

However, local authorities had been accused of being too quiet on their investigations.

Hours before news of Mr Bankman-Fried’s arrest broke, East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson called on the government to provide an update on the status of investigations related to the FTX collapse, saying the attorney general’s speech last month on the crypto giant’s collapse was not enough.

“At present, we are still not doing enough to defend ourselves internationally and in the international community from the fall of FTX. It is all connected,” Mr Thompson told parliamentarians yesterday.

“We are being called all manner of things from all manner of people. One speech from the attorney general is not enough. Truth be told ,there seems to be even more negative reviews.”

Last week, Mr Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, sat down with Bahamian journalist Jerome Sawyer in his first local interview since the crypto giant’s implosion.

The episode aired on Sunday night.

During the interview, the former billionaire denied claims of the company being non-compliant with the country’s digital assets regulations and disagreed with the characterisation of The Bahamas’ digital assets regulatory regime in international media.

He claimed his team had spent an enormous amount of time “on regulations and compliance”.

He also gave insight into his relationship with local regulators in The Bahamas before his company’s implosion.

He said he really appreciated having an “open line of communication” with the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB) and described Prime Minister Davis as a great leader who has been “incredibly empathetic” and “incredibly well intentioned.”

Earlier this year, the crypto exchange broke ground to start construction on its $60m headquarters.

The project, however, has since been put on hold, according to Mr Bankman-Fried.

The former billionaire was expected to testify virtually before the US House Financial Services Committee today.

In a statement last night, the Royal Bahamas Police Force confirmed Mr Bankman-Fried’s arrest and said he would appear at court today.

The statement said: “Police wish to inform that 30-year-old Samuel Benjamin Bankman-Fried, of California, USA, has been arrested.

“Officers of the Financial Crimes Investigation Unit (FCIU), arrested Bankman-Fried shortly after 6pm on Monday, December 12, 2022, at his apartment complex, located Albany, Nassau, Bahamas.”

The statement added: “He was arrested reference to various financial offences against laws of the United States, which are also offences against laws of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

“He was taken into custody without incident and will appear in Magistrate Court, Nassau Bahamas, on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.”


KapunkleUp 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Pretty sure certain people in government are shedding salty tears right now. Their big meal ticket is about to be yanked away by the US.


ThisIsOurs 5 months, 2 weeks ago

SBF dont want go one step outside the territorial waters of this country, "yet". If he was trying to flee he would have been gone. and he cant get far on 100k. Fox Hill might change his mind


stillwaters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What a story.... a splashy beginning, giving away so much money to charities, buying houses for officials/employees, walking around in a cloud of Bahamian adoration....and from having even the PM kissing up to you................to handcuffs!!!!!


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