Binance Exec Gambaryan to be Tried Over Nigeria Tax Evasion Charges

Nigeria amends its case against Binance, dropping tax charges for two executives while maintaining money laundering accusations.

Key Insights

  • A Nigerian court ruled that Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan can stand trial over tax evasion charges on behalf of the crypto exchange.
  • Gambaryan and another Binance Africa executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, face accusations of tax evasion, money laundering, and unlicensed financial activities.

ABUJA (MarketsXplora) – A Nigerian court ruled on Friday that Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan can stand trial on the cryptocurrency exchange’s behalf in an ongoing tax evasion case brought by authorities in the West African country.

Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen who heads financial crimes compliance at Binance, was denied bail alongside British-Kenyan national Nadeem Anjarwalla, a regional manager accused of the same four counts of tax evasion and money laundering.

While all parties have denied the money laundering allegations involving over $35 million, Judge Emeka Nwite determined Gambaryan should face the charges against Binance itself due to his position and prior meetings with Nigerian officials.

Gambaryan is scheduled to enter a plea on Binance’s behalf when the case resumes on Wednesday.

Anjarwalla, who oversaw Binance’s Africa operations, reportedly fled Nigeria in March. The country’s authorities are working with Interpol to locate and arrest him, the court heard.

Both Binance’s lawyer and Gambaryan’s declined to comment after Friday’s hearing in the capital Abuja.

The case comes amid rising tensions between Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and the Nigerian government over a broader crackdown on digital assets that has ensnared its local operations.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has criticized Nigeria, alleging its actions set a “dangerous precedent” after the executives were initially invited for talks in February before being detained.

While not charged itself, Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service said Gambaryan could face charges on Binance’s behalf, which his lawyer disputes given his compliance role.

Nigeria has partly blamed cryptocurrency platforms like Binance for enabling illegal forex trading as it grapples with a shortage of U.S. dollars and naira liquidity issues.

The African country is among several nations seeking to more tightly regulate the cryptocurrency sector amid worries over financial crime and forex instability.

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