Update on Binance Nigeria Case: Executive Denied Bail Over Money Laundering Charges Over Flight Risk!

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Working for the crypto exchange Binance may pull you into severe troubles, as shown in the case in Nigeria. Recently, a Nigerian court denied bail to Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance compliance officer facing charges of tax evasion and money laundering. The Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Judge Emeka Nwite, ruled that Gambaryan, a former IRS special agent, is likely to abscond if released on bail.

Case Background: Gambaryan, who serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for Binance, has been held in Nigeria since February 28, 2024, following his arrest upon arrival in the country. Alongside him, his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla was also detained, though Anjarwalla later escaped custody and is currently on the run.

The charges against Gambaryan include allegations of laundering over $35 million through Binance‘s platform and operating without proper registration for tax remittance in Nigeria. The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also implicated Binance in contributing to the naira’s instability due to its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading model, which bypasses conventional financial systems.

Court Ruling: Judge Nwite emphasized the risk of flight given Gambaryan’s dual nationality and lack of ties to Nigeria. He noted that Gambaryan had attempted to secure a new passport from the U.S. Embassy, claiming his original was lost, which further indicated a potential escape risk. Additionally, Gambaryan’s presence during Anjarwalla’s escape and his failure to report it raised concerns about his intentions.

Binance’s Response: Binance has expressed deep disappointment over the ruling, maintaining that the charges against Gambaryan are baseless. The company stated that Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power within Binance, should be released as discussions with Nigerian authorities continue.

Impact on Binance: This case adds to the mounting legal challenges Binance has faced globally. Recently, Binance’s founder, Changpeng Zhao, was sentenced to four months in the U.S. for money laundering, and the company was fined $4.3 billion. In Nigeria, Binance is accused of destabilizing the national currency through its trading platform, which Nigerian officials claim facilitates illegal financial activities and terrorism financing.

Next Steps: Gambaryan’s trial is set to continue, with the court resuming proceedings immediately after the bail denial. The Nigerian government remains adamant about holding Binance accountable for its operations within the country. The EFCC is also actively seeking Anjarwalla’s arrest with Interpol’s assistance.

For further updates and expert analysis on this and other cyberfinance regulatory matters, stay tuned to FinTelegram.

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