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Nigeria Announces Charges Against Binance After Executive Flees - BLOOMBERG

MARCH 25, 2024

BY  Nduka OrjinmoBloomberg News

  • Nadeem Anjarwalla escaped on Friday during prayers at a mosque
  • Two Binance execs had been charged to court for tax evasion

The Binance logo.

The Binance logo. , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria has filed charges of tax evasion against Binance and two executives of the cryptocurrency platform it has detained, amid a report that one of the men has fled the country.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service accused Binance of non-payment of value-added-tax and company income tax, failure to file tax returns and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform, it said in an emailed statement Monday. 

Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, who have been detained in the West African country since February, were named as defendants in the case filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital, FIRS said.

The charges comes after online newspaper Premium Times reported that Anjarwalla has escaped from custody, citing people familiar with the matter.

Anjarwalla escaped on Friday after guards led him to a mosque for prayer, the newspaper reported. He and his colleague were being held at a guest house operated by the office of Nigeria’s security adviser.

“I have been told it is true,” presidential spokesman Bayo Onanuga said when asked about the executive’s escape. Binance said that they “were made aware that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody,” a spokesperson said in response to queries. 

The Binance executives had been invited to Nigeria to meet officials in February after the government blocked access to cryptocurrency channels amid a crackdown on currency speculators. The country has witnessed a 70% devaluation in the value of the naira against the dollar since foreign exchange reforms last year, exacerbated by local dollar scarcity.

--With assistance from Ryan Weeks.


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