Binance Fraud: Court Drops Tax Charges Against Executives

Binance Fraud: Court Drops Tax Charges Against Executives

1 month ago
2 mins read

Court Clears Binance Executives

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, cleared Binance executives, Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old American, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, of tax evasion charges.

This decision came after the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), submitted amended charges, effectively dropping the tax evasion allegations.

Binance’s Local Representation

The court’s decision followed Binance’s appointment of a Nigerian representative, Ayodele Omotilewa, to manage its local operations. The initial charges, filed on 22nd March, 2024, accused Binance and Gambaryan of tax evasion.

In response, Binance issued a statement: “We are relieved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service 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.”

READ ALSO: Binance Fraud: Nigerian Govt Promises Fairness As US Lawmakers Fault Executive’s Detention

Health Concerns and Calls for Action

The crypto exchange also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take similar steps, allowing Gambaryan to return home to his family. Binance emphasised his deteriorating health due to 110 days of detention, during which he was diagnosed with malaria and pneumonia.

“We commend the FIRS for their diligence and professionalism throughout this process. This situation unequivocally demonstrates Binance’s commitment to resolving this issue with the government transparently and cooperatively.

“In order for Tigran to be allowed to go home to his family, we are hopeful that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , will take similar steps. Tigran has been detained for 110 days, and his physical health is deteriorating, including a recent malaria and pneumonia diagnosis. Binance is committed to continuing to work with the Nigerian government to resolve this,” Binance added.

Legal Proceedings Continue

The next hearing in this case is scheduled for 19th June, when the application for an order for the enforcement of fundamental rights will be heard.

The EFCC trial is set to continue on 20th June, while Tigran remains in Kuje prison. His health conditions have worsened since collapsing in court on 23rd May due to malaria, which later developed into pneumonia.

Despite a court order by Justice Emeka Nwite to take Tigran to hospital immediately, it took the prison authorities 11 days to provide a brief check-up.

International Attention

The case has attracted international attention. Sixteen US Members of Congress, including the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, wrote to President Biden last week.

They highlighted that Gambaryan is a “U.S. Citizen wrongfully detained by a foreign government” and urged President Biden to do more to secure his release.

Broader Implications

The Federal Government had accused the cryptocurrency exchange of manipulating foreign exchange (FX) rates, leading to increased scrutiny of crypto trading platforms. Separately, the EFCC is prosecuting Binance and its executives on charges of alleged money laundering and foreign exchange violations.

On 28th February, 2024, Nigerian authorities detained two senior Binance executives when they arrived in Nigeria for a meeting, following the Federal Government’s ban on cryptocurrency channels, part of a broader campaign against currency speculation.

Future Developments

As the legal proceedings continue, Binance remains committed to working with the Nigerian government to resolve these issues. The upcoming hearings will be crucial in determining the future of Binance’s operations in Nigeria and the fate of its detained executives.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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