Binance Top Executives Cleared of Tax Evasion Charges by Nigerian Authorities, While Money Laundering Allegations Persist

Binance Top Executives Cleared of Tax Evasion Charges by Nigerian Authorities, While Money Laundering Allegations Persist
Photo by Joseph Corl / Unsplash

In a significant development, Nigerian authorities have decided to drop the tax evasion charges that were previously leveled against top executives of the cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance. According to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the charges have been reassessed and will now be redirected towards the platform itself rather than its individual staff members.

Initially, FIRS had accused Tigran Gambaryan, Vice President of Global Intelligence and Investigations at Binance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the Managing Director of Binance’s operations in Africa, of failing to pay taxes. These allegations have since been retracted, with the regulatory body concluding that the platform, not its executives, should be held accountable.

Background of the Allegations

The investigation began when discrepancies were noted in the tax filings associated with Binance's operations in Nigeria. The FIRS took a closer look at the activities of the executives and initially found grounds for tax evasion charges. However, upon deeper investigation and consultation, it became apparent that the accountability for these discrepancies lies with the corporate entity itself rather than with individuals.

Ongoing Money Laundering Concerns

Despite the withdrawal of tax evasion charges, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla are not completely out of the woods yet. They, along with other top officials at Binance, are still under investigation for their alleged involvement in a $35 million money laundering scheme. The details of this case are murky, but it involves significant amounts of money transferred under suspicious circumstances, which the Nigerian authorities are taking very seriously.

The legal journey for these executives has been tumultuous. Earlier, a Nigerian court had denied bail to Gambaryan, citing risks of him fleeing the country. This decision was influenced by the escape of Anjarwalla, who was later arrested in Kenya after fleeing Nigeria. The judge handling the case, Emeka Nwaiye, referenced Anjarwalla's escape as a precedent in denying bail to Gambaryan, underscoring the seriousness with which the judiciary is treating the allegations against Binance executives.

Adding to the complexity of the case, in early June 2024, several U.S. politicians reached out to President Joe Biden, urging him to intervene in the situation and facilitate Gambaryan’s return to the United States. Gambaryan has been detained in Nigeria for over three months following his arrest in February 2024. His arrest was part of a broader crackdown that followed a contentious dispute between Binance and Nigerian authorities.

Corporate Response and Allegations of Bribery

Richard Teng, CEO of Binance, has publicly stated that the company has repeatedly attempted to resolve issues with the Nigerian government but to no avail. Teng alleges that at one point, members of the House Committee on Financial Crimes (HCFC) demanded a bribe of $150 million in cryptocurrencies to settle the dispute, an accusation that adds another layer of controversy to the already complex case.

In response, the Nigerian government has accused Teng of lying and attempting to divert attention from the ongoing money laundering investigation. They argue that Teng’s failure to provide concrete evidence to support his claims of bribery suggests that these allegations are merely a tactic to exert pressure on Nigerian officials.

Broader Implications for Cryptocurrency Operations in Nigeria

This case is part of a larger narrative concerning the cryptocurrency industry in Nigeria. Recently, it was reported that fintech companies in Nigeria have started blocking customer accounts involved in cryptocurrency transactions. This move reflects the growing scrutiny and regulatory challenges facing the crypto sector in the region.


The situation with Binance in Nigeria highlights the complex interplay between large cryptocurrency platforms and national regulatory bodies. While the tax evasion charges against individual executives have been dropped, the focus has shifted to the corporate practices of Binance itself. Moreover, the ongoing allegations of money laundering underscore the challenges that global crypto exchanges face as they navigate compliance with diverse regulatory environments.

This case not only affects the individuals and the company involved but also has broader implications for the regulatory landscape of cryptocurrencies worldwide. As Binance continues to deal with these allegations, the global crypto community will be watching closely, aware that the outcome could set important precedents for how crypto businesses operate across borders and under varying regulatory regimes.