The Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan detained without bail in Nigeria

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Nigeria: a court has rejected the bail request of Tigran Gambaryan from Binance. As a result, Nigeria has taken Binance and its executives to court, accusing them of tax evasion and money laundering.

Let’s see all the details below. 

Nigeria: bail denied to Tigran Gambaryan of Binance

As anticipated, the bail request for the detained Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, has been rejected by a court in Nigeria. 

The spokesperson for the executive’s family stated that this happened because there is a risk that he may escape if released on bail. 

Last Friday, hearings were held for the bail of Binance’s Chief Compliance Officer, Tigran Gambaryan, accused of money laundering and tax evasion. 

The court has ruled that Binance can be served with the accusation of tax evasion through Gambaryan.

Gambaryan’s lawyers have challenged the request, arguing that they need a review of the amended charge in order to properly advise their client. The court has agreed to postpone the matter until May 22 for the official charge.

Gambaryan has been detained in Nigeria since February, when he arrived with a colleague. His detention occurred one month after the arrest of Binance executives in the country, all accused of money laundering and tax evasion.

He was later transferred to Kuje prison, where there are also members of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

The money laundering trial, conducted by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), began on Friday, with the first prosecution witness called by the Nigerian SEC. 

Gambaryan’s lawyers requested a break to obtain certified documents to use in the cross-examination of the witness, and the court postponed the next hearing to May 23rd.

A spokesperson for Binance expressed deep disappointment over Gambaryan’s detention, emphasizing that he has no decision-making powers in the company and that the accusations are groundless. 

He requests his release during the discussions between Binance and Nigerian government officials. Binance CEO, Richard Teng, also appealed to the Nigerian government to release Gambaryan.

Binance CEO’s appeal for the release of Gambaryan

As mentioned, Binance CEO, Richard Teng, urged the Nigerian government to release Tigran Gambaryan, head of the Financial Crime Compliance team at the cryptocurrency exchange.

Teng highlighted the serious impact of this detention on the global business community, emphasizing the need to address this issue urgently.

The context of the economic crisis affecting Nigeria, with its currency in decline and inflation at the highest levels in decades, adds an additional layer of complexity to the situation. 

The confrontation between Binance and the Nigerian authorities regarding licensing requirements has been ongoing since 2022 without satisfactory responses from the competent institutions.

The arrest of Gambaryan and Binance’s regional director for Africa, Nadeem Anjarwalla, after an official meeting, has raised questions about the transparency and legality of the actions taken by the authorities. 

The fact that Anjarwalla managed to escape custody has raised further questions about the management of the whole affair.

Currently held on charges of money laundering in Kuje prison, Gambaryan has faced delays in legal proceedings, highlighting the complexity and challenges of the Nigerian legal system.

The appeal filed by Gambaryan and Anjarwalla against the Nigerian authorities for alleged violation of their human rights adds a further element of tension to an already complex and delicate situation.