Federal High Court Clears Binance Executives of Tax Evasion Charges

In a significant legal development, the Federal High Court in Abuja has cleared Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old American, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, who fled to Kenya, of tax evasion charges brought by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The decision followed the submission of amended charges by the FIRS, which effectively dropped the tax evasion allegations against Gambaryan and his colleague.

This change came after Binance appointed a Nigerian representative, Ayodele Omotilewa, to handle its local operations. The original charges, filed on March 22, 2024, had accused Binance and Gambaryan of tax evasion.

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In a statement, Binance expressed relief over the court’s decision. “We are relieved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has served and filed amended charges today, resulting in tax charges against Tigran Gambaryan being dropped. This further illustrates that Tigran is not a decision-maker at Binance and does not need to be held in order for Binance to resolve issues with the Nigerian government. We await the court’s ruling on this, discharging Tigran from this matter completely,” the statement read.

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The cryptocurrency exchange also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take similar steps to allow Gambaryan to return home to his family, citing his deteriorating health due to 110 days of detention during which he was diagnosed with malaria and pneumonia. “We commend the FIRS for their diligence and professionalism throughout this process. This situation unequivocally demonstrates Binance’s commitment to resolving this issue with the government transparently and cooperatively. In order for Tigran to be allowed to go home to his family, we are hopeful that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will take similar steps,” Binance added.

The next hearing in this case is scheduled for June 19th, where the application for an order for the enforcement of fundamental rights will be heard. The EFCC trial is to continue on June 20th, while Tigran remains in Kuje prison. Since Tigran collapsed in court on May 23rd with malaria, his health conditions have worsened, culminating in pneumonia. Despite a court order by Justice Emeka Nwite to take Tigran to the hospital immediately, it took the prison authorities 11 days to arrange a brief check-up.

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