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Binance chief arraigned in court over alleged Tax evasion

The arraignment of a top official of Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan, was stalled today April 4 following the delayed service of the charge on the accused person.

The arraignment could also not proceed as the second defendant (Gambaryan) had not been served with the charge by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla (in absentia) were dragged before the court over allegations of tax evasion

Counsel to the second defendant drew the attention of the court to the fact that his client, whom the federal government scheduled for arraignment, did not have an idea of the charges against him. Counsel to the FIRS who told the court that service on the 2nd defendant had been difficult as he has been in custody. The FIRS counsel therefore prayed for the court to grant leave so that the second defendant could be served in court.

Counsel to the second defendant had raised questions about the conduct of the federal government in serving the charge on the second defendant but did not object to it.

The court ordered that the defendant be served in court. The prosecution prayed to the court for an adjournment to enable the defendant to go through the charge and be ready to take his plea.

The court consequently adjourned the matter to April 8 and 19, 2024 for arraignment.

In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, Binance was accused of failing to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service for the purpose of paying all relevant taxes administered by the Service.

The FIRS also alleged that while it was offering taxable services to subscribers on its trading platform, the exchange company failed to issue invoices to those subscribers for purposes of determining and payment of its value-added taxes.

Gambaryan was ushered into the court by heavily armed operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He is the second defendant in the matter, while the first defendant, Nadeem Anjarwalla, escaped from lawful custody in Nigeria last week.

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