Nigeria: FIRS Drops Tax Charges Against Binance Executives, Lists Exchange as Sole Defendant

FIRS Drops Tax Charges Against Binance Executives, Lists Exchange as Sole Defendant
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In March 2024, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) filed tax evasion charges against Binance, alleging that the cryptocurrency platform violated four tax laws. Initially, the charges also named Binance executives Gambaryan and Anjarwalla as the second and third defendants.

The FIRS accused Binance of failing to register with the authorities for tax purposes, thus violating the country’s tax laws.

In response, Binance issued a statement highlighting that the FIRS’s decision to drop charges against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla demonstrates that Gambaryan is not a decision-maker at Binance and should not be detained as the case progresses. Binance had previously emphasized in an April 2024 publication that Gambaryan is “a strict law enforcement professional who is not part of Binance management.”

Binance is currently awaiting a court decision to completely discharge Gambaryan from the case. The company expressed its appreciation for the FIRS’s diligence and professionalism throughout the process, stating that the situation underscores Binance’s commitment to resolving the issue transparently and cooperatively with the government.

However, Binance hopes that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will follow the FIRS’s lead. The EFCC had charged the exchange and its executives with money laundering following the FIRS’s tax evasion charges.

Meanwhile, Gambaryan has been representing himself in court since his colleague escaped detention, and Binance has not yet appointed a legal representative for him. It was reported that Gambaryan’s physical health was deteriorating after he missed a court appearance in May 2024. According to a Binance spokesperson, his most recent diagnosis included malaria and pneumonia. Gambaryan is currently being held at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja after pleading not guilty to money laundering charges.

The release of the two Binance executives does not signify a resolution of the dispute between the Nigerian government and Binance. However, Binance has stated its continued commitment to working with the Nigerian government to resolve the issue.

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