Binance Executive Reportedly Escapes Custody in Nigeria Amid Tax Evasion Charges

Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the Binance executives detained in Nigeria over allegations of tax evasion and other offenses, has reportedly managed to escape from custody. The 38-year-old executive is said to have fled from an Abuja guest house where he and a colleague were being held, allegedly seizing an opportunity during Ramadan prayers. Despite Nigerian authorities holding his British passport, Anjarwalla is believed to have left the country using a Kenyan passport.

Anjarwalla’s escape comes following his arrest in February alongside another executive, Tigran Gambaryan, after they arrived in Nigeria. Their detention occurred amidst government efforts to curb speculation on the Naira by cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges. Authorities are now working to ascertain Anjarwalla’s intended destination to apprehend him and return him to custody.

According to immigration officials, Anjarwalla fled Nigeria using a Kenyan passport, raising questions about how he obtained it as he only had a British passport when arrested.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government of Nigeria has initiated criminal proceedings against Binance, filing a lawsuit accusing the cryptocurrency company of tax evasion. The lawsuit, which also names Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla as defendants, alleges four counts of tax evasion, including non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

The government also accuses Binance of failure to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for tax purposes and violating existing tax regulations within the country. One of the counts in the lawsuit pertains to Binance’s alleged failure to collect and remit various categories of taxes to the federation as stipulated by the FIRS Establishment Act 2007.

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