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FIRS files tax evasion charges against Binance, as Executives escape Nigeria

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Abuja has filed legal proceedings against the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, alleging four instances of tax evasion, according to a statement released on Monday.

This is coming on the heels of multiple reports that the detained Binance Executives have fled Nigeria.

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,”

Binance has not yet provided a response to these allegations.

Recently, the federal government had accused the cryptocurrency exchange with influencing foreign exchange (FX) rates, resulting in stricter oversight of crypto trading platforms.

On February 28, Nigerian authorities detained two senior Binance executives: Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan who serves as the regional manager for Africa, and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old American who is the head of financial crime compliance at Binance. They were held for several weeks.

Following the federal government’s ban on cryptocurrency channels as part of a campaign against currency speculation, the Binance executives visited Nigeria for a meeting.

The Naira has experienced a significant devaluation of its currency, with the naira losing 70% of its value against the dollar since the foreign exchange reforms were implemented last year, a situation worsened by a shortage of dollars locally.

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