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Binance Says Nigeria Drops Some Charges Against Jailed Executive - BLOOMBERG

JUNE 14, 2024
  • Binance says Nigeria dropped tax charge, other charges remain
  • US lawmakers have urged President Joe Biden to intervene


Binance Holdings Ltd. said Nigerian authorities have dropped some criminal charges against an executive at the world’s biggest crypto exchange who has been imprisoned in the country since April.

Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service served and filed amended charges on Friday which resulted in accusations of tax fraud against being dropped, a Binance spokesperson said in a statement. Gambaryan, head of financial compliance at Binance, also faces charges of money laundering and currency speculation from a different agency. 

The change shows that Gambaryan “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,” the spokesperson said. “We await the court’s ruling on this, discharging Tigran from this matter completely.”

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Nadeem Anjarwalla, another Binance executive who was detained at the same time as Gambaryan and has UK and Kenyan citizenships, fled the West African country in March. The two men had traveled to Nigeria late February at the invitation of local authorities to meet officials.

“It is true that the Federal Government is dropping charges against the two individuals sued along with the cryptocurrency firm, Binance,” said Dare Adekanmbi, a spokesperson for the FIRS. “Please note that the charges are being dropped against the second and the third defendants in the matter.”

Nigeria has denied accusations from US lawmakers that Gambaryan, a US citizen, has been wrongfully detained. A group of Republican lawmakers wrote to US President Joe Biden this month, urging him to help secure Gambarayan’s release. 

Gambaryan was previously charged with tax evasion, currency speculation and money laundering of $34 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He has pleaded not guilty.

“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,” the Binance spokesperson said.


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