Binance Tax Evasion Trial Adjourned: Nigerian Court Sets New Date

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FILE PHOTO: Tigran Gambaryan, an executive of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, sits as he waits to face prosecution for tax evasion and money laundering at the federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria April 4, 2024. REUTERS/ Abraham Achirga/File Photo

Binance Tax Evasion Trial Adjourned: Nigerian Court Sets New Date

A tax evasion trial against cryptocurrency exchange Binance and two of its executives in Nigeria faced a delay on Friday, as the exchange had not been formally served with the charges. The trial, which was adjourned to May 17, involves Binance and its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, who face four counts of tax evasion, including failure to register with Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for tax remittance purposes.

Tigran Gambaryan, who appeared in court in Abuja on Friday, did not plea. However, Nadeem Anjarwalla fled the country last month. The court proceedings were hindered by the fact that Binance had not been served with the tax evasion charges by FIRS. The FIRS lawyer argued that Gambaryan should face the charges on the exchange’s behalf. Still, Gambaryan’s lawyer objected, citing Nigerian law, which stipulates that he cannot enter a plea until Binance, as the first defendant, has been served.

Judge Emeka Nwite adjourned the trial to May 17, when he will give a ruling. In addition to the tax evasion charges, Binance and its executives also face allegations of laundering more than $35 million by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This separate trial is scheduled to resume on May 2.

Binance, which was not represented in court and did not offer an immediate comment, stated on Thursday that it is collaborating closely with Nigerian authorities following Gambaryan’s detention.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., stocks ended mixed on Friday, with the Nasdaq experiencing its most significant weekly decline since October 2022. This news underscores the broader market context against which Binance and its executives navigate legal proceedings and regulatory scrutiny.


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