Nigeria Court Adjourns Hearings for Binance, Execs’ Tax Evasion Cases: Reports

Nigeria Court Adjourns Hearings for Binance, Execs’ Tax Evasion Cases: Reports

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  • Nigeria has accused Binance and two of its executives detained in the country of evading taxes.

  • The executives were due to be arraigned Thursday.

A Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, has adjourned hearings for the local tax authority’s cases against crypto exchange Binance Holdings and two of its executives who were detained by government authorities, local news outlets reported on Thursday.

The matter was adjourned due to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) not being able to serve Binance’s Head of Financial Crime Compliance Tigran Gambaryan the charges while he was in custody, the Punch reported. While Gambaryan was detained along with another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, in February, the latter has since escaped custody. Gambaryan reportedly appeared in court Thursday.

The Binance Holdings hearing has been adjourned till April 8, and the case against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla has been adjourned until April 19, Bloomberg reported.

The FIRS filed tax evasion charges against Binance in March. The four counts of tax evasion included “non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax, failure to tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.”

A month prior to the FIRS’ suit, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were detained by authorities in the country. At the time, Nigeria accused the crypto exchange of operating illegally and manipulating its economy.

Gambaryan will remain in the custody of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Bloomberg said in its report.

Binance said in a blog post that Gambaryan has no decision-making power in Nigeria and should be left out of discussions on Wednesday. Gambaryan’s wife started a petition on March 30 to bring him home.

CoinDesk has reached out to Binance for a comment.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.

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