Nigeria files charges against Binance as regional executive goes on the run

By bne IntelliNews March 26, 2024

Nigeria has escalated its confrontation with cryptocurrency giant Binance by filing tax evasion charges against the platform and seeking an international arrest warrant for Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance's regional manager for Africa. 

Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan, was previously arrested in connection with an investigation into Binance's activities in Nigeria but escaped custody last week. This development has spurred collaboration between Nigerian authorities and Interpol to locate him.

Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan, Binance's head of financial crime compliance, were detained upon arriving in Nigeria in February. This came as the country banned various cryptocurrency trading websites amidst fears over currency speculation and manipulation.

Nigerian authorities' attempts to prolong their detention faced obstacles when the initial warrant expired, sparking allegations of unlawful custody. Anjarwalla's departure, allegedly through legal channels, has complicated the legal discourse around the case. 

In addition, Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has accused Binance of tax evasion in Abuja. The charges include not paying value-added tax (VAT) and company income tax, failing to file tax returns, and allegedly aiding customers in evading taxes through its platform. Binance's response is pending.

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