May 7, 2024
Nigerian Court Delays Binance Money Laundering Trial
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Nigerian Court Delays Binance Money Laundering Trial

In a Nigerian court, Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive detained since February, faced another delay in his trial. Gambaryan’s trial, scheduled for May 2, was postponed until May 17 due to a lack of necessary documents, as reported by Reuters. Lawyers representing Binance expressed that they had not received essential paperwork to proceed with the money laundering case involving the firm, Gambaryan, and regional manager Nadeem Anjarwalla.

Tigran Gambaryan in Courtroom, Source: Yahoo Finance

Legal Proceedings and Bail Hearing

The trial pertains to allegations separate from tax evasion charges brought against Binance, Gambaryan, and Anjarwalla by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. All parties involved have pleaded not guilty in the money laundering case. A bail hearing for Gambaryan is set for May 17, coinciding with the adjourned trial date in Nigerian court. The legal team requires additional time to review the documents before proceeding with the case.

Charges and Criticisms

Anjarwalla and Gambaryan traveled to Nigeria in February to address claims of Binance’s involvement in manipulating the country’s fiat currency, the naira. However, both men were detained and charged with tax evasion and money laundering. Anjarwalla reportedly escaped custody and fled to Kenya, where he holds nationality alongside the United Kingdom. Interpol confirmed on April 30 that extradition proceedings for Anjarwalla were underway.

Critics have questioned the merit of the Nigerian government’s charges, particularly amidst Binance’s announcement to cease all naira transactions. Many believe the timing of the arrests raises suspicions, as Binance stated Gambaryan had no decision-making power at the crypto firm.

Global Legal Ramifications

In a separate criminal case in the United States, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao received a four-month prison sentence on April 30 after pleading guilty to failing to maintain an Anti-Money Laundering program. Zhao is expected to report to a facility in Oregon or Washington, with the specific date pending determination.

These legal developments underscore the complex legal landscape cryptocurrency executives face globally and highlight the importance of regulatory compliance in the burgeoning industry.

Image by wirestock on Freepik

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