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Breaking: Nigeria Drops Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance Executives

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Nigeria Drops Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance Executives

Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has decided to drop the tax evasion charges against Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla.

The move comes just one week after sixteen U.S. lawmakers accused Nigeria of holding Gambaryan hostage, according to a report from Nairametrics.

While Anjarwalla managed to escape detention on March 22, Gambaryan has been held for 110 days.

Despite the tax evasion charges being dropped, Gambaryan will remain in custody due to pending money laundering charges brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His lawyers have revealed that he has been diagnosed with malaria and pneumonia, raising concerns about his health and well-being.

Nigeria’s Charges Against Binance


The tax invasion charges were initially filed against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla in March 2024 by the FIRS, alleging that they had failed to pay taxes on cryptocurrency transactions worth billions of naira.

Binance was accused of not paying value-added tax, company tax, and failure to file tax returns.

Gambaryan’s legal troubles began earlier when he was taken into custody by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the EFCC, on money laundering charges. After spending several days in detention, he was released on bail.

He first appeared before court on the money laundering charges on February 22, 2024.

The Nigerian government has been cracking down on cryptocurrency trading platforms, accusing them of influencing foreign exchange rates.

The EFCC is separately prosecuting Binance and its executives over alleged money laundering and foreign exchange contravention.

The detention of the Binance executives came after the Nigerian government banned cryptocurrency channels as part of a campaign against currency speculation.

The devaluation of the Naira, with a 70% loss of value against the dollar since last year’s foreign exchange reforms, has further complicated the situation, exacerbated by a shortage of dollars locally.

Binance Nigeria Conflict Takes a Turn


Last month, Binance CEO Richard Teng accused a Nigerian government official of pressuring crypto representatives to accept a secret agreement to settle Nigeria’s claims against the exchange.

The “settlement” was actually a $150 million bribe from “someone in the Nigerian government.”

“Counsel reported back that he had been presented with a demand for a significant payment in cryptocurrency to be paid in secret within 48 hours to make these issues go away and that our decision was expected by the morning,” Teng wrote.

However, Nigeria fired back at Binance‘s bribe accusation, claiming it’s a distraction to shift focus away from the exchange’s actions.

Binance recently had to discontinue all services involving Nigerian local fiat currency, the Nigerian naira (NGN), after regulatory scrutiny.

Earlier, the Nigerian government imposed a staggering $10 billion fine on Binance as part of a crackdown on the platform in an effort to stabilize the nation’s local currency.

Binance has faced increasing regulatory scrutiny worldwide.

Last year, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed charges against Binance for allegedly operating an illegal digital asset derivatives exchange and evading federal laws.

Similarly, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Binance Holdings LTD and CZ for allegedly operating unregistered exchanges, broker exchanges, clearing houses, and the unregistered offer and sale of securities.