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FIRS Drops Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance Executives

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has dropped tax evasion charges against Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, leaving only the cryptocurrency exchange platform as the defendant. This decision followed a petition by sixteen US lawmakers to President Joe Biden to intervene in the case.

In their letter to President Biden, the lawmakers claimed the charges against Mr. Gambaryan were baseless and accused the Nigerian government of using them as coercion to extort Binance. They emphasized that Mr. Gambaryan, a US citizen, was wrongfully detained by a foreign government.

A week after the petition, FIRS withdrew its tax evasion charges against the Binance executives, leaving only the crypto exchange and its Nigerian representative, Ayodele Omotilewa, as defendants.

Binance expressed relief through a spokesperson, stating, “We are relieved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has served and filed amended charges today, resulting in tax charges against Tigran Gambaryan being dropped, further illustrating that Tigran is not a decision-maker at Binance and does not need to be held for Binance to resolve issues with the Nigerian government.”

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Gambaryan, who has been in custody for 110 days, was detained on February 26 alongside Nadeem Anjarwalla, head of Binance Africa, who subsequently escaped custody on March 22, facing money laundering and tax evasion charges.

Although the tax evasion charges against Gambaryan and his absconded colleague have been dropped, Gambaryan remains in custody at Kuje prison due to pending money laundering charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). A court ruling on this matter is pending.

Gambaryan’s health has also been a concern, as he has been diagnosed with malaria and pneumonia, leading to his collapse in court on May 23. Despite a court order to take him to the hospital, the prison authorities delayed for 11 days before providing a brief check-up, and the results have not been released to his family.

His wife, Yuki Gambaryan, expressed concern for his life, saying, “We need the U.S. government to intervene more forcefully for the immediate release of an innocent American citizen. This has gone on too long, and Tigran’s life is at risk.”

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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See also FG, Reps probe cancellation of 264 Nigerians’ visas by Saudi Arabia

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