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Binance Executive Fails to Appear to Court Due to Nigerian Prison Error

Key Takeaways

  • The Nigerian Correctional Service failed to present Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan at his Abuja court hearing;
  • Gambaryan faces charges of money laundering;
  • His hearing is postponed to June 14.
Binance Executive Fails to Appear to Court Due to Nigerian Prison Error

The Nigerian Correctional Service is being blamed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for not bringing Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan to his hearing at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Local reports revealed that Gambaryan, who was detained in Nigeria since February 2024, did not appear in court on May 22 as expected.

Gambaryan faces charges of money laundering, specifically for concealing the source of $35.4 million generated by Binance in Nigeria. His bail application was previously denied.

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Counsel for the FIRS, Moses Idehu, expressed his confusion over Gambaryan’s absence and mentioned that efforts to contact the correctional center officials had failed.

Idehu requested a brief adjournment, but Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court postponed the arraignment to June 14. Idehu said:

We are definitely looking at possibly not being able to go on today. We shall take steps to communicate to the Nigerian Correctional Service to produce him on the next adjourned date.

Binance’s lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) T.J. Krukrubo, raised an objection to the prosecution for not bringing his client to court.

Concurrently, SAN Chukwuka Ikwuazo, Gambaryan's legal representative, asked the judge to order the FIRS to remove co-defendant Nadeem Anjarwalla's name from the revised charges, as he had been declared “at large.” The FIRS lawyer agreed to proceed with the necessary actions to amend the charge sheet accordingly.

Anjarwalla escaped custody in March 2024 and was later seen in Kenya, facing extradition. However, it is not yet confirmed whether the executive is currently held in the country.

He escaped after the FIRS brought tax evasion charges against Binance and the two executives. These charges encompassed not registering with the FIRS, not paying company income tax, not paying value-added tax, and aiding in tax evasion.

The Nigerian Government accused the crypto exchange of impacting foreign exchange rates, leading to increased regulatory scrutiny.

Overall, the situation highlights issues within the Nigerian Correctional Service and underscores the regulatory pressures on crypto exchanges in Nigeria.

Aaron S. , Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.

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