Binance Top Executive’s Nigerian Case Postponed Until April 19

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A top executive from Binance Holdings, who had been detained in Nigeria for over a month on charges of tax evasion, saw his case postponed until April 19 following his initial court appearance. As reported by Bloomberg, this development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing saga involving the cryptocurrency exchange and Nigerian authorities.

Nigeria Stakeholders to Monitor the Case Closely

The executive, Tigran Gambaryan, head of financial crime complaint at Binance, was detained in early March amid allegations of tax infractions by Binance Holdings. The situation sparked widespread interest within the cryptocurrency community and raised concerns about regulatory scrutiny in emerging markets like Nigeria.

During the court hearing, details about the case were scarce, leaving many questions unanswered. However, the adjournment until April 19 prolongs the uncertainty surrounding the executive’s legal predicament and the implications for Binance’s operations in Nigeria.

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As the case unfolds, stakeholders within the cryptocurrency ecosystem will closely monitor developments in Nigeria. Likewise, the outcome could influence regulatory approaches in other jurisdictions grappling with similar issues related to cryptocurrency taxation and compliance.

Binance Executive Escapes From Custody

Meanwhile, the other executive, identified as Nadeem Anjarwalla, fled custody after being escorted for prayers on Friday, March 22. As per insiders, there is a possibility that Nadeem flew out of Abuja using a Kenyan passport. Although, it is still a puzzle as to how he got an international flight out of the country, as his British passport is still in the custody of Nigerian authorities.

In response to the incident, Nigerian authorities are doing everything possible to launch a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances leading to the executive’s escape and hold those responsible. 

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Allegations Against Binance

Lawyer Ekele Iheanacho, representing the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), filed an ex parte motion alleging that Binance’s activities in Nigeria show signs of criminal behavior, citing provisions in the EFCC Act of 2004 and the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act of 2022 requiring the reporting of suspicious transactions, with the opposing party absent during the filing.

In a court affidavit, EFCC operative Hamma Bello stressed the urgency of the commission’s investigation prompted by intelligence, which indicated money laundering and terrorism financing through the Binance platform. Bello pointed out various illicit activities, such as price manipulation and market distortions, exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian naira in comparison to other currencies, among others.

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