FG Drops Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance Executives, Continues With Money Laundering Case

FG Drops Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance Executives, Continues With Money Laundering Case

  • Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has withdrawn its tax evasion case against two top Binance executives
  • However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is proceeding with its money laundering case against the individuals and the company
  • Welcoming the court's decision, Binance said it is committed to continuing to work with the Nigerian government to resolve the issue

Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

Nigeria has withdrawn tax evasion charges against two Binance executives after the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange designated a local representative to handle all court proceedings related to the allegations.

On Friday, June 14, Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) submitted revised charges, removing the tax evasion allegations against Tigran Gambaryan, Binance's head of financial crime compliance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the company's regional manager for Africa.

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Nigeria charges Binance
Binance expressed relief that the tax charges against its executives have been dismissed. Photo credit - Federal government of Nigeria, Binance
Source: UGC

Binance executives cleared of tax evasion in Nigeria

According to Reuters, Binance is now the sole defendant in the tax evasion case, as confirmed by a representative for Gambaryan's family.

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Binance stated that the court's decision indicated that Gambaryan was not a decision-maker at the company, and his presence was not required for Binance to address its issues with the Nigerian government.

Binance expressed relief that the tax charges against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have been dismissed, noting their roles as key decision-makers within the company.

It stated:

“We are relieved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has served and filed amended charges today, resulting in tax charges against Tigran Gambaryan being dropped.
“This further illustrates 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.”

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FG continues money laundering case against Binance

Binance and the two executives continue to face charges of money laundering and offering financial services without a license from Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Gambaryan, an American and a former special agent with the Internal Revenue Service for ten years, has been held in Nigeria since late February and is currently detained at Kuje prison.

Anjarwalla, who was detained alongside Gambaryan, managed to escape and fled to Kenya in March.

Nigeria has held Binance responsible for its currency issues, as cryptocurrency websites have become the preferred platforms for trading the Nigerian naira.

This shift occurred as the country faced persistent dollar shortages, leading to the naira reaching an all-time low.

Binance founder bags 4-month prison sentence

In related news, Legit.ng reported that Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, was sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday, April 30.

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Before the sentence session, Zhao admitted guilty to money-laundering charges last year and regretted his errors while serving as the CEO of Binance.

As part of a coordinated settlement with the federal authorities, Binance committed to pay more than $4 billion in fines and other penalties.

Source: Legit.ng

Victor Enengedi avatar

Victor Enengedi (Business HOD) Victor Enengedi is a trained journalist with over a decade of experience in both print and online media platforms. He holds a degree in History and Diplomatic Studies from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. An AFP-certified journalist, he functions as the Head of the Business Desk at Legit. He has also worked as Head of Editorial Operations at Nairametrics. He can be reached via victor.enengedi@corp.legit.ng and +2348063274521.