UPDATE: On Detained Binance Executive In Nigeria

April 18, 2024 11:20 pm Comments

Detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan is being held by law enforcement officials in Nigeria, who claim that Binance destroyed Nigeria’s native fiat currency.

Today, we learned that Gambaryan’s bail hearing will be delayed, and the detained executive will remain imprisoned until the bail hearing is held. Nigerian regulators posted this update on Thursday:

“$34.4m Money Laundering: Defence Counsel’s Application Stalls Bail Hearing of Binance Executive

Hearing of bail application of Binance Holdings Limited and one of its Executives, Tigran Gambaryan, before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, was on Thursday, April 18, 2024, stalled following a fresh application filed by counsel to the second defendant, Mark Mordi, SAN.

The defense’s application, a further affidavit in response to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC’s opposition to the initial bail application filed before the court, could not be heard because the EFCC’s counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, prayed for an adjournment to properly respond to it.

“My Lord, this is a criminal trial, we need to do the needful. It would be unfair for me to be shut down on the issue of fair trial.

It’s not even convenient on my own part to seek for this adjournment, but the needful needs to be done, my Lord. That is why we are applying for a short adjournment for Monday or Tuesday to reconvene, and to file our further counter affidavit”, he said.

Meanwhile, Mordi didn’t oppose the adjournment prayer of the prosecution but said the prosecution was claiming they had an intelligence that the defendant is a flight risk and may run away.

“My Lord, it is a fact we didn’t know, that they had an intelligence that the defendant may run away because he has dual nationality.

He knew it, he didn’t say it, and all we are doing is to respond to what he will say here in the court. He can say that now and we can continue.

We can give him two hours to do so because the liberty of my client is at stake”, he said.

Justice Nwite, after listening to the counsels, adjourned the matter till April 22, 2024, for hearing of bail application.

Tigran Gambaryan is facing trial by the EFCC over alleged $34,400,000 (Thirty-Four Million, Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), money laundering charges.

He was arraigned alongside Binance Holdings Ltd and Nadeem Anjarwalla, (who is currently at large) on five-count charges bordering on alleged tax evasion, currency speculation and money laundering.”

Daily Coin reports:

On Thursday, Nigerian Federal High Court judge Justice Emeka Nwite adjourned Gambaryan’s bail hearing till May 22, compelling the Binance executive to remain in Nigeria’s infamous Kuje prison for at least another month.

David Prinçay, President of Binance’s French division, posted this impassioned plea:

“Tigran Gambaryan is an international legend in the field of fighting digital crimes and use tracing tool to fight crime and shut down Alphabay (the successor of Silk road), Welcome to Video (child pornography) and many other criminal platforms.

His contribution is so important to the digital ecosystem that his story has even made it a principal character in one of the best book about cybercrime that i all invite you to read : Tracer in the dark by Andy Greenberg

He is recognised all over the world for his contribution trained and work with hundreds of cybercrime teams and thanks to his hard work contributed to make web3 a clean place and centralized exchange an essential element to freeze assets and fight crime.

He is now in a nigerian prison for wrongful reason. He absolutely does not deserve this treatment.

Keeping him out of the field just make internet and Web3 much dangerous. Can you help him and his family ?

Actually you can, it takes 5 minutes and it has a real impact believe me, please sign this petition.”

Reuters provided this statement from Binance CEO Richard Teng:

“What I can say is we are working very closely with the Nigerian authorities to try to resolve the matter,” CEO Richard Teng said, speaking about Gambaryan’s case during the Token2049 crypto conference in Dubai.

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