Binance Executive Denied Bail in Nigeria Money Laundering Case


Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive, has been denied bail by a Nigerian court amidst charges of money laundering and terrorism financing. Judge Emeka Nwite rejected Gambaryan’s bail application, citing concerns that he posed a flight risk and would likely flee if released.

Prosecution’s Arguments

Ekele Iheanacho, the head prosecutor, objected to Gambaryan’s bail by highlighting his recent attempt to obtain a new passport under questionable circumstances, following claims that his previous one was stolen. Iheanacho also noted Gambaryan’s lack of significant ties to any Nigerian community, suggesting that he would abscond if granted bail, similar to his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla, who escaped custody on March 22.

Gambaryan, along with Binance Holdings and Nadeem Anjarwalla, faces serious charges from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) related to money laundering and terrorism financing. Both executives were detained upon their arrival in Nigeria on February 26. This occurred shortly after the Nigerian government banned cryptocurrency channels to curb currency speculation. As part of the crackdown, the court ordered Binance to provide the government with access to data and details of Nigerian traders using its platform.

Also Read: Bribery Allegations Threaten Foreign Investment in Nigeria

Gambaryan’s Legal Response

In response to his detention, Gambaryan has filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian government, claiming that his detention and the confiscation of his passport violate his fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution. The Federal High Court in Abuja had previously postponed the bail hearing for Gambaryan, who remains in custody at the Kuje correctional center.

Gambaryan is expected to return to court following the initial postponement. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges of tax evasion and money laundering brought by the EFCC.

Binance’s Actions and Market Exit

On March 5, Binance announced it would cease all Nigerian naira transactions, effectively exiting the Nigerian market. This decision followed the delisting of all naira trading pairs from its peer-to-peer trading platform in late February.

In a separate legal issue in the United States, former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao was sentenced to four months in prison for violating U.S. money laundering laws, adding to the growing legal challenges faced by Binance globally.

Adam L
Adam L
In the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, I have a great deal of passion and interest. My interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies has led me to explore these technologies in greater depth, as I am interested in the potential implications they could have on the global economy.

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