A Nigerian agency has dropped tax evasion charges it brought against Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, leaving the crypto exchange as the only defendant in the case.

This comes after Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) charged Binance and the two named execs with tax evasion in mid-March. The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also charged the pair with money laundering a week later. Then, in May, Nigeria invited the executives to the African country before detaining Gambaryan—a move which Binance said set a “dangerous precedent.”

Now, a month later, the FIRS have revised the charges to leave Binance as the sole defendant, through its local representative, in the tax evasion case. However, both Gambaryan and Anjarwalla remain on the money laundering case brought to them by the EFCC.

“We are relieved that the FIRS have served and filed amended charges today,” a Binance spokesperson told Decrypt. “Tigran is not a decision-maker at Binance and does not need to be held in order for Binance to resolve issues with the Nigerian government. We await the court's ruling on this, discharging Tigran from this matter completely.”


American national Gambaryan joined the company in 2021 and is currently the head of financial crime compliance at Binance. While Anjarwalla has been serving as the regional manager of Binance Africa but has been on the run since escaping custody in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja. In turn, a Nigerian court denied Gambaryan bail saying that he was likely to leave the country.

As a result, Gambaryan remains in custody at the Kuje prison, near the country’s capital, as he awaits for the case’s next hearing which is set for June 19. Earlier last month, Binance CEO Richard Teng claimed that Gambaryan was being held in “a dangerous prison in order to control Binance” calling him an “innocent, mid-level employee.” This came after Gambaryan sued the Nigerian government for violating his fundamental human rights.


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“In order for Tigran to be allowed to go home to his family, we are hopeful that the EFCC will take similar steps,” a spokesperson told Decrypt,  “Tigran has been detained for 110 days, and his physical health is deteriorating, including a recent malaria and pneumonia diagnosis."

Teng accused Nigerian authorities of requesting a $150 million bribe before the charges were brought to the crypto exchange and its executives. In return, Nigeria’s Information Ministry accused Binance of trying to undermine the country’s legal proceedings stating the claims “lack any iota of substance.”


This is only the latest in a series of legal troubles involving Binance. Most notably, in April, Changpeng Zhao was sentenced to four months in U.S. prison due to money laundering violations. On top of this, Binance agreed to exit the U.S. market entirely with Zhao personally agreeing to pay $50 million and to stay out of Binance operations for at least three years after he pleaded guilty.

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