Nigeria’s anti-graft agency produces Binance executive, arraignment stalls amidst FIRS setback

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The Nigerian anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has presented Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance executive who fled Nigerian custody, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

  • Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has presented Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance executive who fled Nigerian custody, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
  • Binance was accused of failing to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to pay all relevant taxes administered by the service.
  • The trial judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, has adjourned further hearings until April 19.

Gambaryan was escorted into the court by heavily armed operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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Gambaryan and his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla were charged by the EFCC on five counts-charge bordering on money laundering and foreign exchange contravention to the tune of $35.4 million.

In a separate suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, Binance was also accused of failing to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to pay all relevant taxes administered by the service.

The FIRS alleged that while Binance was offering taxable services to subscribers on its trading platform, the company failed to issue invoices to those subscribers to determine and payment of its value-added taxes.

Arraignment stalls

The defendants; Binance Holdings Limited and Tigran Gambaryan, were meant to be arraigned on Thursday, but it was stalled. Gambaryan’s lawyer, I. Chukwuka SAN argued that his client cannot be arraigned because he has not been served with the FIRS charges.

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The trial judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, adjourned further hearings until April 19 after listening to the parties’ submission on the service of the charge on Binance Holdings Limited.

Last week, the Binance executives filed a lawsuit against Nigeria’s national security adviser’s office and the anti-graft agency, over the violation of their fundamental rights and requested the court to release them.

Gambaryan is presently being held by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

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