The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will on Thursday charge Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, two senior officials at Binance Holdings Limited.

Binance Holding Limited's top officials will be prosecuted on five counts of money laundering.

The News Agency of Nigeria reliably concluded on Tuesday that Binance, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, who escaped from legal custody on March 22 and fled Nigeria, will be charged before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

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Although crypto exchange company Gambaryan and Anjarwalla are listed as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively, Anjarwalla, who is described as “out” by the EFCC in the indictments, is expected to be prosecuted in absentia.

In the indictment dated and filed on March 28 by the anti-corruption agency, the trio is being accused of money laundering worth US$35.4 million.

The first count charged the defendants between January 2023 and January 2024 in Abuja with carrying on specialized business in another financial institution without a valid license.

The offense is considered to be contrary to Section 57(1) and (2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 2020 and punishable under Section 57(5) of the same Act.

NAN also reported on March 28 that the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) will, on April 4, prosecute Binance Holdings Limited, Gambaryan and the fugitive Anjarwalla, over allegations bordering on tax evasion.

In the indictment marked FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, the three defendants will be equally cited before Justice Nwite on four counts.

NAN reports that although FHC's Easter vacation, which began on March 22, ends on April 8, FHC's Presiding Judge, Minister John Tsoho, directed the transfer of the Binance case files to Minister Nwite, even though he did not be a vacation judge.

The judge granted authorization for the judge to handle the case during his vacation, as it is a matter of extreme national interest.

In the indictment dated and presented on March 22 by the FIRS, the defendants allegedly committed the crime around February 1.

Count one alleged that while he was involved in providing and offering services to subscribers on his platform, known as Binance, he failed to register with the FIRS, for the purpose of paying all relevant taxes administered by the service.

The offenses are considered punishable under Sections 8 and 29 of the VAT Act, 1993 (as amended), Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act, 2007 (as amended) and the provisions of Section 94 of the Income Tax Act. Corporate Income (as amended), respectively.

Both cases were scheduled for Thursday to allow for an expedited hearing.

NAN reported on March 18 that Justice Nwite ordered Binance Holdings Limited to provide the EFCC with comprehensive data or information on every person in Nigeria trading on its platform.

The judge granted the interim measure after ruling on the ex-parte application filed by EFCC lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho.

The interim order was granted to allow the anti-corruption agency to unravel alleged money laundering and terrorist financing on the Binance platform.

The commission said it discovered users using the platform for price discovery, confirmation and market manipulation, which caused tremendous distortions in the market, resulting in the loss of value of the Naira relative to other currencies.

The EFCC said that from information provided to its team of investigators by Binance it showed that Nigeria's total trading volume in 2023 alone was $21.6 billion.

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