Binance Executives to Face Arraignment on Money Laundering, Tax Charges

The Abuja Federal High Court is poised to arraign Binance executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, on Thursday, with charges related to money laundering and tax infractions.

Gambaryan and Anjarwalla will appear separately before Justice Emeka Nwite to face two distinct sets of charges. The first, filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), comprises five counts centered on money laundering allegations. The second charge, brought by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), consists of four counts relating to various tax violations.

Anjarwalla, who evaded custody on March 22, will be arraigned in absentia before Justice Nwite.

According to the EFCC’s charge filed on March 28, the Binance executives are accused of laundering approximately $35,400,000. The charges assert that between January 2023 and January 2024 in Abuja, the defendants engaged in the specialized business of other financial institutions without a valid license, contravening Section 57(1) and (2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020.

In the FIRS charge filed on March 22, the defendants are accused of failing to register with the FIRS to pay relevant taxes while operating and providing services to subscribers on the Binance platform. This offense is alleged to contravene Sections 8 and 29 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act of 1993 (as Amended), Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act, 2007 (as amended), and Section 94 of the Companies Income Tax Act (as amended).

Previously, on March 18, Justice Nwite had ordered Binance to furnish the EFCC with comprehensive data of all individuals trading on its platform from Nigeria. This interim order followed an ex-parte motion filed by the EFCC, seeking to investigate alleged money laundering and terrorism financing activities facilitated through Binance’s platform.

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