Binance Executive Pleads Not Guilty: Money Laundering Charges in Nigeria

Binance Executive Pleads Not Guilty: Money Laundering Charges in Nigeria

Binance – Amidst escalating tensions between Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and Nigerian authorities, Tigran Gambaryan, a senior executive at Binance, has pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering. Gambaryan’s plea comes in the wake of a crackdown by Nigerian regulatory bodies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS), who have accused Binance of money laundering and tax evasion.

The legal saga took a dramatic turn as Gambaryan appeared before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court. Despite his plea, the court remanded him in Kuje Correctional Centre pending the outcome of his bail application scheduled for April 18. The trial is set to commence on May 5.

The case against Gambaryan and his colleague, Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, stems from their visit to Nigeria in February to address the government’s concerns over Binance’s alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets and the company’s involvement in speculative forex trading activities. Anjarwalla fled the country in March, leaving Gambaryan to face the legal consequences alone.

In response to the detention of its executives, Binance has called for their release, emphasizing that Gambaryan holds no decision-making authority within the company. Additionally, both executives have filed a human rights violation case in the Federal High Court, seeking their release, the return of their passports, and a public apology from the Nigerian government.

The unfolding legal battle reflects broader tensions between cryptocurrency platforms and regulatory authorities worldwide, as governments grapple with the challenges posed by the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape.