Nigeria’s Anti-Graft Agency Set to Arraign Binance Executives

On Thursday, 4th April 2024, Binance Holdings Ltd and two of its high-ranking officials are expected to stand trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria. As stated in a Premium Times report, they are accused of money laundering offenses, amounting to five counts. Justice Emeka Nwite will preside over the case at the FHC.

The EFCC identifies Binance, Tigran Gambaryan, and Nadeem Anjarwalla as the three individuals charged in the case. However, it’s important to mention that Anjarwalla’s current location is unknown. As previously reported by Coinspeaker, Anjarwalla managed to evade custody on March 22 and has been missing since then. Nevertheless, legal proceedings can still move forward with him being absent from the courtroom.

In brief, the court document from March 28 alleges that the defendants are involved in money laundering with a staggering amount of $35.4 million.

Double Trouble for Binance Execs in Nigeria

An additional point to consider is that as the EFCC pursues Binance and its associates for suspected misdeeds, another organization, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), intends to bring similar charges against them today. The accused individuals face tax evasion allegations from the FIRS as well. Notably, both the FIRS and EFCC chose the same judge, Nwite, and court for these proceedings. The FIRS’ accusations are outlined in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024. According to the documents, the defendants are accused of neglecting to register with the FIRS before providing services to their Nigerian user base.

According to the tax authorities, offenses referred to are considered criminal and subject to penalties under Sections 8 and 29 of the VAT Act of 1993 (revised), Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act, 2007 (amended), and Section 94 of the Companies Income Tax Act (amended) respectively.

Lesson to Crypto Firms

Based on all signs, Nigeria seems determined to use the Binance case as a warning to other companies of the same kind. Consequently, authorities are working diligently to expedite the hearing and resolution of this significant matter. This is why Judge Nwite has intervened in the proceedings during the Easter vacation at the Federal High Court, which was scheduled to end on April 8. Given the importance of the case for the country, it’s reasonable that things are being moved forward swiftly.

The Binance case, which is currently unfolding, will likely cause significant consequences that go beyond the courtroom. This incident serves as a reminder from Nigeria that even crypto giants are subject to examination. It underscores the importance of transparency, compliance, and accountability in today’s digital economy.

Crypto fans are left in suspense as the situation develops, wondering if Binance’s actions were driven by sheer greed or a desperate attempt to establish dominance. The verdict from time and the legal system will reveal the answer.

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2024-04-04 15:39