BREAKING: Court frees detained Binance’s officials from tax evasion case

A Federal High Court in Abuja has discharged two officials of virtual currency trading firm, Binance Holdings Limited – Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla – from a tax evasion charge brought against them and the firm by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

While Gambaryan is currently being held in prison in Abuja, Anjarwalla escaped from lawful custody earlier this year.

Binance, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla are also being tried on a separate money laundering charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Trial has commenced in the case by the by the EFCC, with prosecution calling its first witness.

At the mention of the FIRS case on Friday, June 14, Binance’s lawyer, Tonye Krukrubo (SAN) disclosed that his client has sent the name of one of its representatives in Nigeria to the court and the FIRS.

FIRS’ lawyer, Moses Idehu confirmed the development and sought the court’s permission to substitute the existing charge with an amended one, dated June 13.

Idehu said his client has decided to discontinue its case against the two officials of Binance – Gambaryan and Nadeem, leaving only the firm as the sole defendant.

He then urged the court to direct that the Binance’s new representative be directed to enter the dock and plead to the amended charge on behalf of the firm.

Krukrubo objected and argued among others , that Nigerian law does not mandate a representative of a company that is sued to stand inside a dock and plead on its behalf.

Krukrubo was of the view that a representative of a company that is sued may not need to attend court and could even write the court in respect of the company’s position in the case.

At that point, he prayed the court to discharge Gambaryan and Nadeem from the FIRS case since a representative has been official sent to the court, a position Idehu agreed with.

Ruling, Justice Emeka Nwite ordered lawyers to both sides to file written addresses, arguing their positions on the issue of whether or not Binance’s representative should be made to mount the dock and plead to the charge on behalf of the firm.

Justice Nwite proceeded to strike out the earlier charge and equally strike out the names of Gambaryan and Nadeem as defendants in the case.

The judge then adjourned till July 12 for arraignment of Binance on the amended charge.

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