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Nigeria's Tax Evasion Trial Against Binance and Executives Postponed until May 17, Amidst Money Laundering Allegations

Algoine News
Summary:
The tax evasion trial involving Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, and two of its executives has been postponed to May 17 in Nigeria due to charges not being formally served. The executives face four counts of tax evasion, while Binance is charged with failure to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service. The case was adjourned due to disagreement over Nigerian law procedures. This comes alongside allegations of a $35 million money-laundering scheme by Binance in Nigeria.
Cryptocurrency platform Binance and two top-level individuals associated with it face a postponed tax evasion hearing in Nigeria, rescheduled for May 17 due to the exchange not having formally received the allegations yet. BusinessDay, a domestic news outlet, mentions that the tax evasion charges from the country's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have yet to be formally issued to Binance. The FIRS have suggested that Binance's chief defendant, Gambaryan, should have been charged, as Binance and its executives were jointly targeted. Nonetheless, Gambaryan’s attorney, Chukwuka Ikuazom, presented the counterargument that under Nigerian regulations, he could not make a plea until Binance received the charges. The case will resume on May 17, as decreed by Magistrate Emeka Nwite. Binance and its executives, Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old U.S. national acting as financial crime compliance head, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan African regional manager, were seized on February 28 and charged with four instances of tax evasion while in Nigeria. Their arrest followed the government's restrictions on cryptocurrency platforms as part of the effort to mitigate currency fluctuation. The court required Binance to provide the Nigerian government with data pertaining to Nigerian clients on their platform. The accusations pertained to Binance not registering with Nigeria’s FIRS for tax payment. Gambaryan, though present in an Abuja-based court on Friday, refrained from making a plea. Anjarwalla, on the other hand, remained absent, having dodged detention and fled the nation in March 2024. In addition to tax evasion, Binance and its executives are facing charges of money laundering exceeding $35 million from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria, with the trial resuming on May 2. Binance was not present in court and refrained from immediate comment on the matter, mentioning at the Token2049 cryptocurrency conference in Dubai that it is actively working with Nigerian government after Gambaryan's arrest. Simultaneously, an Abuja, Nigeria, Federal High Court has delayed the bail hearing for Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, who is still detained at the Kuje correctional center. Gambaryan has additionally lodged a lawsuit against the government for infringing on his basic human rights. He argues that his confinement and the seizure of his passport violate Nigeria's constitution, which pledges personal liberty for individuals.

Published At

4/20/2024 3:30:46 PM

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