Binance CEO makes strong allegations, says government officials demand crypto bribe to settle tax evasion charges in Nigeria

Binance CEO Richard Teng has alleged that officials in Nigeria approached the exchange’s team and offered a secret crypto settlement proposal.

Teng shared details of the development in a blog post that highlights the ongoing legal troubles around Binance official Tigran Gambaryan.

Teng, who replaced former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, wrote about why Tigran Gambaryan is innocent and should be released.

Binance and two of its executives, Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, are facing individual trials on charges of tax evasion and money laundering, which the firm is challenging.

Anjarwalla escaped a lawful custody, and “fled Nigeria using a smuggled passport”, the office of Nigeria’s National Security Adviser said in a statement.

On his part, Binance CEO said the executives first held meetings with Nigerian authorities in the country in January 2024.

He said on February 26, the Nigerian authorities at a follow-up meeting said the issues involving Binance were of national security and demanded that the exchange delist the naira currency from its platform and provide “granular-level” details on all Nigerian users.

Teng stated that Gambaryan had been detained in Nigeria for over two months “on dubious grounds.”

Teng alleged that individuals approached its representatives with the settlement proposal.

The demand was that if Binance paid up within 48 hours, the concerned parties would “make these issues go away.” Accusations include money laundering and tax evasion.

In early March, Binance declared that it was halting all transactions and trading in naira.

Currently, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Abuja filed legal proceedings against the cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, alleging four instances of tax evasion.

The allegation against Binance involves the non-remittance of Value Added Tax (VAT), Company Income tax (CIT), non-compliance with tax return filing obligations, and facilitating tax evasion for its users.

Furthermore, in the lawsuit, the Federal Government charged Binance with not registering for tax purposes with the FIRS and violating the country’s tax laws.

According to the FIRS, “One of the counts in the lawsuit pertains to Binance’s alleged failure to collect and remit various categories of taxes to the federation as stipulated by Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 as amended.”

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