Legal Battle Unfolds: Binance Executive Denies Charges, Vows Fight In Nigerian Court

According to local reports, Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan, who was detained, pleaded not guilty to four counts of money laundering in Nigeria.

Following his arrest in late February, Gambaryan asserted his innocence in a courtroom on April 8, according to the local news agency Peoples Gazette.

Gambaryan emphasized at the hearing that he lacks authority over Binance Nigeria’s operations. He argued against being held responsible for Binance’s Nigerian activities. He stressed his lack of decision-making power within the company’s Nigerian business operations.

Gambaryan’s lawyer, Chukwuka Ikuazom, also argued that his client could not plead on his behalf despite being served with charges like his escaped colleague.

Judge Emeka Nwite dismissed Gambaryan’s defense and ruled that he had represented Binance during past visits to Nigeria, citing local laws.

The Judge reportedly stated, “A person who lacks a physical presence in Nigeria but has a physical agent in Nigeria can be properly served through that agent.“

Tigran Gambaryan is sitting and waiting to go to court for not paying taxes and laundering money at the federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria, on April 4, 2024. Source: Technext24.

Remember how we said Gambaryan’s case got pushed to April 19 last time? Well, now they’re saying his bail hearing’s been moved to April 18. And guess what? Starting May 2, they’re talking about kicking off the hearings on the big charge.

Legal Battle Involving Binance Employees

Peoples Gazette says Judge Nwite told Gambaryan, “You stay in Kuje prison until we’re done with this case.”

Gambaryan’s lawyer asked the court to return him to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). But the EFCC’s lawyer disagreed, saying folks accused like Gambaryan usually go to the Kuje facility until the court decides.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa Regional Manager, escaped Nigeria in March while Gambaryan was detained.

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

The EFCC has charged Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, reflecting a wider probe into Binance’s operations in Nigeria. Local authorities claim that Binance may have tampered with and devalued the Nigerian naira. Moreover, both Gambaryan and Anjarwalla face allegations of tax fraud.

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