Binance Reacts as FG Drops Tax Charges Against Executives

Crypto exchange platform, Binance has reacted after its officials executives, Tigran Gambaryan, and Nadeem Anjarwalla were discharged of tax evasion charges filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

They were cleared on Friday by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The court’s decision came on Friday after the FIRS submitted amended charges that effectively dropped the tax evasion allegations against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, who absconded to Kenya.
This change followed Binance’s notification of appointing a Nigerian representative, Ayodele Omotilewa, to handle its local operations. The original charges, filed on March 22, 2024, accused Binance and Gambaryan of tax evasion.
In a shared note with The PUNCH, the platform said it was relieved that tax charges against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have been dropped because they are decision-makers at the company.
The platform said, “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.
“This further illustrates that Tigran is not a decision-maker at Binance and does not need to be held in order for Binance to resolve issues with the Nigerian government. We await the court’s ruling on this, discharging Tigran from this matter completely.”

The crypto platform also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to take similar steps, allowing Gambaryan to return home to his family.

It emphasized Gambaryan’s deteriorating health due to 110 days of detention, during which he was diagnosed with malaria and pneumonia.
“We commend the FIRS for their diligence and professionalism throughout this process. This situation unequivocally demonstrates Binance’s commitment to resolving this issue with the government transparently and cooperatively.
“In order for Tigran to be allowed to go home to his family, we are hopeful that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will take similar steps.
“Tigran has been detained for 110 days, and his physical health is deteriorating, including a recent malaria and pneumonia diagnosis. Binance is committed to continuing to work with the Nigerian government to resolve this,” Binance added.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 19, 2024. where the application for an order for the enforcement of fundamental rights will be heard.
On June 20, the EFCC trial is due to continue, while Tigran will remain detained at Kuje prison.
Since Tigran collapsed in court on May 23rd with Malaria, his health conditions have worsened and Tigran now has pneumonia.
Despite a court order by Justice Emeka Nwite to take Tigran to the hospital immediately, it took the prison authorities 11 days to take him for a brief check-up.
The PUNCH reported last week that 16 US Members of Congress, including the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul wrote to President Biden highlighting that he is a “U.S. Citizen wrongfully detained by a foreign government,” and urging him to do more to secure his release.
Recall the the Federal Government had accused the cryptocurrency exchange of manipulating foreign exchange (FX) rates, which led to increased scrutiny of crypto trading platforms.
Separately, the EFCC is prosecuting Binance and its executives on charges of alleged money laundering and foreign exchange violations.
On February 28, 2024, Nigerian authorities detained two senior Binance executives when they arrived in Nigeria for a meeting following the Federal Government’s ban on cryptocurrency channels, part of a broader campaign against currency speculation.
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Binance CEO Tops 2024 Crypto Billionaires List

The founder and former CEO of crypto exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao is now crypto’s wealthiest person.
He achieved this for the third year running as Forbes unveils crypto bigwigs.
Popularly known as CZ, Zhao is now worth an estimated $33 billion, up from $10.5 billion last year and the 50th-wealthiest person in the world.
Despite pleading guilty to U.S. money laundering charges in November, Forbes reported that CZ who is now the biggest crypto gainer in dollar terms since last year made a bulk of his fortune from his majority stake in Binance, which remains the industry’s largest global trading venue by volume.
Also, the CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor’s net worth has surged to an estimated $4.4 billion, compared to $760 million the previous year, thanks to MicroStrategy’s heavy investments in Bitcoin.
Similarly, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s net worth hit an estimated $11.2bn, up from $2.2 billion, buoyed by the impressive performance of Coinbase’s shares, which have more than quadrupled over the past 12 months.

Naira Is Removed From Binance’s Peer-to-Peer Market Due To Nigerian Government Crackdown

The popular cryptocurrency trading site Binance removed the Naira, the currency of Nigeria, from its peer-to-peer feature on Wednesday.

The P2P market functionality enables users, buyers, and sellers to conduct transactions without the involvement of a third party.

Nigerians first learned about it in 2021 when the government of former president Muhammadu Buhari outlawed cryptocurrency trade in the nation.

SaharaReporters discovered that the elimination of their currency has prevented many Nigerian users from using the feature.

Nigerian authorities claimed that Binance’s removal of Naira from its P2P market was a result of the platform’s role in the devaluation of the currency.

Bayo Onanuga, President Bola Tinubu’s Special Advisor on Information and Strategy, said on Wednesday that Binance’s arbitrary foreign exchange rate fixing would ruin the Nigerian economy if it isn’t stopped.

The National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu’s office detained two Binance employees on Wednesday, according to a report published in the Financial Times. The detentions were a result of an inquiry into the cryptocurrency exchange’s activities in Nigeria.

By cracking down on bitcoin exchanges, their imprisonment in Nigeria was an attempt to stop naira speculation and stabilize its wild decline.