Binance Tax Evasion Trial in Nigeria Adjourned to May 17

Binance Nigeria
Binance Nigeria

NAIROBI ( — Nigeria’s Federal High Court has adjourned the high-profile tax evasion trial involving cryptocurrency giant Binance to May 17, prolonging the legal battle.

According to BusinessDay, Federal Inland Revenue Service lawyers argued that Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan should represent the exchange, as authorities had already served him with the charges. This move, given the joint charges against Binance and its executives, underscores the legal complexities at play.

Authorities in Nigeria charged two Binance executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, with tax evasion. Gambaryan, the head of financial crime compliance, did not enter a plea during his court appearance. After receiving bail, Anjarwalla, who managed operations in Africa, fled Nigeria and authorities later found him in Kenya.

Nigeria, Binance Tax Evasion Trial in Nigeria Adjourned to May 17
Nadeem Anjarwalla was spotted in Kenya. Source: X

The Nigerian authorities, led by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), are now working with Kenyan law enforcement to extradite Anjarwalla. This international cooperation highlights the complexities and challenges of enforcing regulations in the cryptocurrency sector across borders.

At the heart of the charges lies Binance’s alleged failure to register with the FIRS for tax remittance in Nigeria. The FIRS lawyer argued that Gambaryan should represent Binance as the primary defendant. However, Gambaryan’s lawyer, Chukwuka Ikuazom, objected, citing Nigerian law, stating that Binance must be served first.

Judge Emeka Nwite adjourned the proceedings to allow for proper service, setting the stage for a critical ruling on May 17.

In addition to the case brought by the EFCC, Nigeria’s tax agency, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has charged Binance and the executives with tax evasion. This case will appear before a court on Friday. Binance’s head of regional markets, Vishal Sacheendran, addressed this situation at the Token2049 crypto conference in Dubai.

“This was a one-off. It’s never happened to us before,”

Sacheendran told Reuters.

Beyond the tax evasion charges, Binance and its executives face additional legal challenges in Nigeria. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused them of laundering over $35 million, with a separate trial scheduled for May 2.

Furthermore, Gambaryan has filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian government, alleging violations of his fundamental human rights through his detention and confiscation of his passport.

As the legal battles intensify, the cryptocurrency industry closely watches the unfolding events in Nigeria. The outcomes could set precedents for how authorities worldwide regulate and tax digital asset platforms.

Binance’s legal team firmly defends the exchange’s innocence. Meanwhile, Nigerian authorities remain resolute in their pursuit of regulatory compliance. This sets the stage for a dramatic showdown at the May 17th hearing – a pivotal moment in the ongoing battle between oversight and the explosive growth of the crypto sector.

Leave a Comment

Related Articles

Our Partners