Nigeria drops tax evasion charges against Binance execs Nigeria drops tax evasion charges against Binance execs

Nigeria drops tax evasion charges against Binance execs

Gambaryan continues to face money laundering charges from the Nigerian authorities.

Nigeria drops tax evasion charges against Binance execs

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has dropped tax evasion charges against Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla. Instead, the agency will focus solely on the exchange itself.

Alexander Onukwe, a Nigerian Journalist for Semafor, citing an e-mailed statement from Gambaryan’s representative, reported:

“FIRS to revise charges to serve solely on Binance through its local representativeโ€ฆ [but] bogus EFCC charges against them remain.”

In March, the Nigerian tax regulator filed four counts of tax-related offenses against Binance and its executives. The charges included evading value-added tax (VAT) and company income tax, failing to file tax returns, and aiding customers in tax evasion.

Furthermore, Binance was accused of operating without registering with the FIRS, violating the country’s tax regulations.

Meanwhile, Gambaryan continues to face money laundering charges from Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The case was postponed to June 20 in May after concerns emerged over his wellbeing at the Kuje prison where he is currently held.

A Binance spokesperson told CryptoSlate:

“We are relieved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have served and filed amended charges today, resulting in tax charges against Tigran Gambaryan being dropped, further illustrating that Tigran is not a decision-maker at Binance and does not need to be held in order for Binance to resolve issues with the Nigerian government. We await the court’s ruling on this, discharging Tigran from this matter completely.”

Pressure mounts on Nigeria

This development marks the latest chapter in Binance’s ongoing issues in Nigeria.

Over the past weeks, various groups, including US lawmakers and former federal prosecutors, have urged President Joe Biden to intervene in the continued detention of Gambaryan. According to them, the Binance executive is being wrongfully detained and was charged with several baseless crimes.

However, the Nigerian government continues to maintain that the defendants, both Gambaryan and Binance, will have the opportunity to defend themselves against the charges in court.

Gambaryan is a US citizen who heads the crypto exchange’s financial crime compliance department. He and Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, were apprehended upon their arrival in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Feb. 26. Anjarwallaย escaped custodyย on March 22.

June 16 UPDATE: Included Binance’s spokesperson statement.

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