Nigeria Drops Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance Executives

Nigeria Drops Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance Executives

By: Eva Baxter

Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has dropped tax evasion charges against Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, focusing instead on the exchange itself. According to an official statement, the agency will now direct its charges solely at Binance through its local representative, but separate charges from Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) remain against Gambaryan. This move comes after the regulator initially filed four counts of tax-related offenses against Binance and its executives in March.

The FIRS had initially accused Binance and its executives of evading value-added tax (VAT) and company income tax, failing to file tax returns, and aiding customers in tax evasion. Additionally, Binance was accused of operating without proper registration with the FIRS, violating Nigeria's tax regulations. While the tax charges have been dropped for the executives, Gambaryan continues to face money laundering charges, with his case being postponed to June 20 after concerns regarding his wellbeing at the Kuje prison where he is currently held.

This decision is the latest chapter in Binance's ongoing issues in Nigeria. Over the past few weeks, various groups, including US lawmakers and former federal prosecutors, have urged President Joe Biden to intervene in Gambaryan's continued detention. They argue that the Binance executive is being wrongfully detained and has been charged with baseless crimes. Despite such international pressures, the Nigerian government maintains that Gambaryan and Binance will have the opportunity to defend themselves in court.

Gambaryan, a US citizen who leads Binance's financial crime compliance department, and Anjarwalla, Binance's regional manager for Africa, were apprehended upon their arrival in Abuja on February 26. Anjarwalla managed to escape custody on March 22. These developments have significantly heightened the scrutiny on Binance's operations in Nigeria and the broader regulatory landscape.

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