May 19, 2024
Binance Executive Pleads Innocence in Nigeria
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Binance Executive Pleads Innocence in Nigeria

Local sources report that Tigran Gambaryan, a detained Binance executive, denies four money laundering charges in Nigeria. Gambaryan asserted his innocence in a Nigerian courtroom on April 8, stating that he should not be held accountable for Binance’s activities in the country due to his lack of decision-making authority.

Legal Proceedings and Defense Argument

Gambaryan’s lawyer, Chukwuka Ikuazom, contested that his client, despite being served with charges of his escaped colleague, could not enter a plea on his behalf. However, Judge Emeka Nwite rejected Gambaryan’s defense argument, citing local laws and stating that Gambaryan had acted as Binance’s representative during past trips to Nigeria.

Tigran Gambaryan sits as he waits to face prosecution for tax evasion and money laundering at the federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria on April 4. Source: Technext24

The case was adjourned until April 19 initially, but Gambaryan’s hearing on bail consideration is now rescheduled for April 18. Subsequent reports suggest that hearings on the substantive charge will commence on May 2.

Legal Proceedings and Request for Bail

The attorney representing Gambaryan urged the court to remand the defendant to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). However, the EFCC’s counsel opposed the suggestion, noting that individuals accused of similar offenses are typically sent to the Kuje facility pending the court’s decision.

Escaped Binance Africa regional manager Nadeem Anjarwalla. Source: The Source Magazine

Broader Investigation into Binance’s Activities

Gambaryan’s case and the escape of Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa regional manager, in March, underscore a broader investigation into Binance’s operations in Nigeria. Local authorities allege that the exchange manipulated and devalued the Nigerian naira, the local fiat currency, and accused both Gambaryan and Anjarwalla of tax fraud.

Image by Racool_studio on Freepik

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