The Legal Battle of Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan in Nigeria

The Legal Battle of Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan in Nigeria

Tigran Gambaryan, an American citizen working for Binance, has taken legal action against Nigerian authorities, including the National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu and the Economics and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). This action comes in response to allegations of human rights violations following his detention on Feb. 26 alongside his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla. As the head of the exchange’s crime investigation unit, Gambaryan was caught up in investigations into Binance’s operations in Nigeria. The situation escalated when Nigerian authorities brought a tax evasion case against Binance and its executives, with a trial expected to begin on April 4.

Gambaryan’s legal motion at the Federal High Court, Abuja division, outlines five key demands. These demands include a declaration that his detention and the confiscation of his passport violated his liberty rights under the Nigerian constitution. He is also seeking a court order for his immediate release and the return of his passport. Moreover, he is requesting a permanent injunction preventing further detention in relation to the Binance investigation. The motion also demands a public apology and that the defendants cover all expenses incurred during the legal proceedings.

Gambaryan’s colleague, Nadeem Anjarwalla, initially pursued similar legal action to protect his fundamental human rights. However, Anjarwalla’s legal representatives withdrew the motion after he escaped custody on March 22. The court adjourned the proceedings to April 8 due to the absence of the respondents and the lack of legal representation for one of the applicants. Binance and its executives are set to appear in a Federal High Court in Abuja on a four-count tax evasion charge. The charges allege that Binance failed to register with local agencies, avoided tax responsibilities, facilitated tax evasion by users, and neglected to issue invoices for Value Added Tax (VAT) purposes.

In addition to the tax evasion charges, the Nigerian government accused Binance of neglecting to issue invoices for VAT purposes and failing to deduct tax payments from its users. These accusations further complicate the legal battle between Binance executives and Nigerian authorities. The outcome of the trial on April 4 will shed light on the extent of the legal repercussions facing Binance and its employees in Nigeria.

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