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Tax Evasion Arraignment of Binance Executives Stalled Due to Service Issues

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ABUJA, Nigeria—The arraignment of Binance Holdings Limited and two of its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, has been postponed on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, encountered difficulties in serving the defendants with the charges, resulting in the delay of proceedings before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The courtroom saw the representation of only one defendant, Tigran Gambaryan, through his attorney, Chukwuka Ikwuazo, SAN.

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The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reported the absence of legal representation for both Binance Holdings Limited and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the latter having recently escaped from lawful custody.

Ikwuazo informed the court that his client, Gambaryan, had not yet received the charge, thus preventing the arraignment from moving forward.

On the other side, FIRS lawyer, Moses Ideho, admitted to the court’s difficulty in serving the charge on Gambaryan, attributing the failure to the inability to locate him within the EFCC’s detention facilities.

Following this, Justice Nwite directed that Gambaryan be served with the charge in the courtroom.

After receiving the charge, Gambaryan’s lawyer requested either a brief postponement or an adjournment to allow for consultation with his client.

With no objections to the request for an adjournment, the court scheduled the next hearing for April 19, when Gambaryan is expected to enter his plea.

This legal confrontation traces back to charges filed by the FIRS on March 22, accusing Binance Holdings Limited, Gambaryan, and the now-fugitive Anjarwalla of tax evasion.

Specifically, the charges involve the alleged failure of the defendants to register with the FIRS for tax purposes while providing services through the Binance platform since February 1.

The accused actions are in violation of multiple sections of Nigerian tax legislation, including the VAT Act of 1993, the FIRS Establishment Act of 2007, and the Companies Income Tax Act, all of which carry significant penalties.

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