Binance Stunned: Bail Application Of Exec Tigran Gambaryan Denied, Nigerian Court Mandates Incarceration

Binance Stunned: Bail Application Of Exec Tigran Gambaryan Denied, Nigerian Court Mandates Incarceration

According to local media reports, Tigran Gambaryan, Binance’s Head of Financial Crimes Compliance, has been remanded in custody in Abuja, Nigeria. The Federal High Court in Abuja postponed the hearing of Gambaryan’s bail application for 11 days, with the remand order continuing until the bail hearing on April 18. 

The judge, Emeka Nwite, agreed with the prosecution’s argument that the correctional center is the appropriate place to remand a defendant after an arraignment. Gambaryan was arraigned on five counts of money laundering.

Tigran Gambaryan Pleads Not Guilty

In an update on the ongoing legal proceedings, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on March 28 charged Tigran Gambaryan and Binance with five counts of money laundering involving $35.4 million. 

Notably, Gambaryan pleaded not guilty to these charges during the court session. The judge recorded a plea of not guilty for Binance based on the request of the prosecuting lawyer. 

During the trial, Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi, challenged the manner of service of the indictment, arguing that Binance, as a legal entity, should be served with the indictment in person or by substituted means for an arraignment to take place. 

However, the judge ruled that Gambaryan’s refusal to accept service on behalf of Binance was unlawful, as both Gambaryan and his colleague Anjarwalla, who escaped from Nigerian authorities’ custody, had signed an affidavit stating that they had been in Nigeria since February as representatives of the crypto exchange company.

The judge ordered Gambaryan’s remand at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja until April 18, when his bail application will be heard and determined. 

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Gambaryan’s lawyer appealed for an earlier hearing or for his client to be detained by the EFCC, citing the extended period of detention and its impact on his well-being. 

Nonetheless, the EFCC’s lawyer argued that remanding Gambaryan in the correctional center was the appropriate course of action, drawing parallels to Nigerians detained in foreign prisons during criminal trials.

Binance Accused Of Violating Nigerian Tax Laws

In a separate case filed by Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Binance and its executives, including Gambaryan, are accused of tax fraud

The charges include failure to register with the FIRS, failure to issue invoices for VAT purposes, failure to deduct value-added tax (VAT) arising from operations, and allegedly aiding subscribers to “unlawfully” neglect or refuse to pay taxes. These alleged offenses carry penalties under relevant tax laws.

With the court postponing the bail hearing and setting a trial date, the case is expected to continue to unfold in the coming weeks. The charges against Gambaryan and Binance and the separate tax fraud case highlight the legal challenges facing crypto companies operating in multiple jurisdictions.

Binance

Binance Coin’s (BNB) trading price currently stands at $594, reflecting a modest 1% increase over the past 24 hours. However, it is worth noting that the token has experienced significant growth of more than 21% in the last 30 days.

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com 

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