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FG Drops Tax Evasion Case Against Binance’s Gambaryan

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the trial concerning money laundering allegations against Binance Holdings Limited and two of its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem until May 17th.
Tigran Gambaryan, of Binance in Court.

The Federal Government has officially discontinued the prosecution of Tigran Gambaryan, one of the Binance executives accused of tax evasion by the authorities. The charges were dropped on Friday.

Gambaryan had been charged by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at the Federal High Court in Abuja following the escape of his colleague, Nadeem Anjarwalla, from official custody in April.

Despite the government holding his travel documents, Anjarwalla has not yet been extradited, and the government has not explained his escape.

In a recent court session, the FIRS announced its intention to file new charges against Binance Exchange as a single entity.

According to the agency, Ayodele Omotilewa will serve as the company’s legal representative in Nigeria.

Dare Adekanmbi, the FIRS spokesperson, confirmed the withdrawal of the charges against Gambaryan and another unnamed individual.

“Please note that the charges are being dropped against the second and the third defendants in the matter,” Adekanmbi stated.

The decision to drop the charges comes just eleven days after a group of twelve U.S. federal lawmakers wrote to President Joe Biden, urging him to take immediate action for the release of Gambaryan.

The letter also addressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Roger Carstens, expressed concerns about Gambaryan’s health while he was detained at Kuje correctional centre.

Binance has commended the government’s decision; speaking to PUNCH,  they noted it relieves them that tax charges against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have been dropped.

“We are relieved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) 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.”

Binance also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to take similar steps, allowing Gambaryan to return home to his family.

“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.

Recall West Africa Weekly reported earlier that a group of over 100 former federal prosecutors and agents issued an urgent plea to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling for immediate action to secure the release of Tigran Gambaryan.

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