Nigeria amends tax evasion charges against Binance

Leah TwakiJune 19, 20243 min

While still facing charges on tax evsion as a corporate entity, the executives of Binance been removed from the sheet 

Binance execs removed from tax evasion charges

In a significant legal shift, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) of Nigeria has officially dropped all tax charges against Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, executives at Binance.

The decision comes as FIRS chooses to pursue legal action directly against Binance, recognizing that the executives are not the decision-makers within the company and should not have been detained or charged in the first place.

With this clarification, Gambaryan is no longer required to appear in court for the FIRS case, and Binance will now face the charges as the sole defendant.

Despite this resolution, both men continue to face separate charges from Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC case is set for its next hearing on June 19th, with an application for the enforcement of fundamental rights to be heard on June 20th. Meanwhile, Gambaryan remains detained at Kuje Prison, Abuja.

Since collapsing in court on May 23rd due to supposed illness, his health has reportedly deteriorated significantly, raising serious concerns about his well-being. Although Justice Emeka Nwite ordered immediate medical attention, prison authorities delayed the medical examination for 11 days. The results of this examination have not yet been disclosed to Gambaryan’s family, lawyers, or the US embassy, despite numerous written requests.

The situation has drawn international scrutiny. On June 4th, 16 US members of Congress, led by Michael McCaul, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote to President Joe Biden, highlighting Gambaryan’s wrongful detention and urged the administration to intervene to secure his release. Subsequently, 108 former federal agents addressed a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling for increased efforts to secure Gambaryan’s freedom.

OrderPaper recalls that in February, the Nigerian government arrested Gambaryan, a US citizen, and Anjarwalla on charges of money laundering and tax evasion. The former managed to evade arrest and fled to Kenya, while the latter remained in detention at the Kuje Correctional Centre.

Additionally, Binance’s CEO, Richard Teng, in May, accused unidentified individuals of acting on behalf of officials to demand $140 million in cryptocurrency to resolve the tax evasion and money laundering allegations against the company and its officials. Teng claims that this bribe demand was made shortly after a meeting with lawmakers on January 8, 2024, as reported by the New York Times.

Responding to this bribery allegations, the House committee on Financial Crimes asked Binance Holdings Limited to tender an apology to the House and Nigerian Government for attempting to discredit its integrity.

Leah Twaki

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