Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has accused the Nigerian Correctional Service of failing to bring Binance top official Tigran Gambaryan to court in Abuja for his tax evasion case.

According to local media, detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan failed to appear in court on May 22 to face federal Inland Revenue Service tax evasion charges.

In court on Wednesday, the prosecutor, Moses Idehu, expressed doubt over the absence of the detained top official, who was expected to be transferred from detention. He revealed that attempts to contact officials at the correction center had been fruitless.

Idehu asked for a brief pause in the matter and requested an adjournment until later in the day to resolve the issue. However, Judge Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja postponed the arraignment against Gambaryan until June 14.

TJ Krukrubo, SAN, Binance’s attorney, protested the prosecutor’s failure to present his client.

Meanwhile, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chukwuka Ikwuazo, who is representing Gambaryan, used the opportunity to ask the judge to direct FIRS to remove the name of the co-accused, Nadeem Anjarwalla, from the amended charges as he is as “ fugitive” has been declared.

FIRS counsel agreed to take necessary steps regarding the removal of Nadeem Anjarwalla’s name from the charge sheet.

In April 2024, Tigran Gambaryan was moved to the Kuje Abuja Correctional Center after he pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.

Despite his request for bail, this was refused and he remains in custody. The allegations revolve around concealing the origin of funds generated by Binance in Nigeria, totaling $35,400,000.

In March 2024, tax evasion charges were filed by the FIRS against Binance and its executives, including Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla. These charges include failure to register with the FIRS, failure to pay corporate tax, failure to pay VAT and facilitating tax evasion.

The Nigerian government accused the cryptocurrency exchange of influencing exchange rates, leading to tighter controls on crypto trading platforms.

On February 28, Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan regional manager for Africa, and Gambaryan, a 39-year-old American head of financial crimes compliance, were arrested by Nigerian authorities.


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