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Binance Executive Faints in Nigerian Court During Trial

Key Takeaways

  • Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive, collapsed during a court session in Nigeria;
  • Gambaryan faces charges from the EFCC and FIRS, including money laundering and tax evasion;
  • Binance halted all Nigerian naira transactions in March 2024 due to regulatory pressures and allegations of foreign exchange manipulation.
Binance Executive Faints in Nigerian Court During Trial

Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive held in Nigeria, fainted during his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged him with foreign exchange violations and money laundering.

Local reports indicate that on May 22, Gambaryan's lawyer Mark Mordi informed the court that his client had been experiencing health issues since the last court session.

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On the same day, Gambaryan did not attend a separate court session for tax evasion charges filed by the Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). However, he was present for the money laundering trial.

During the trial, when the court registrar announced the case, Gambaryan did not respond and stayed seated in the back row. Observing his absence, Judge Emeka Nwite asked for an explanation. Gambaryan's defense lawyer then helped him to the front.

Suddenly, Gambaryan fainted and had to be helped by his lawyer to a front-row seat. Mordi explained to the court that his client was unwell and that a written notification had been submitted regarding his condition.

Mordi then requested to postpone the court for medical treatment. Consequently, the court rescheduled the cross-examination and trial to June 20 and 21.

On May 16, the judge denied Gambaryan’s bail request, citing concerns from the EFCC that he might flee if released from the Kuje Correctional Centre.

He has been detained in Kuje since April 2024 after pleading not guilty to the money laundering charges. Gambaryan's wife, Yuki, has reportedly responded to his transfer to the facility:

I am beyond heartbroken that my innocent husband is being sent to a prison that houses known terrorists and murderers... it is beyond unacceptable that this is how they are treating a completely innocent man.

In March, the FIRS initiated legal action against Binance and its executives, Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, for alleged tax evasion. The charges involved failing to register with the FIRS, not paying company income tax, not paying value-added tax, and facilitating tax evasion.

The Nigerian authorities have accused the crypto exchange of manipulating foreign exchange rates, leading to calls for stricter regulation of crypto trading platforms.

On March 5, Binance announced it would halt all Nigerian naira transactions, effectively withdrawing from the market.

Binance CEO Richard Teng recently claimed that during meetings in early 2024, Nigerian officials attempted to orchestrate a secret crypto settlement to resolve allegations.

Overall, these legal battles highlight the increasing scrutiny of crypto exchanges and their operations.

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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