Nigerian court orders Binance executive to remain in prison despite not guilty plea

cyptouser4 months agoCryptocurrencies News76
A Nigerian High Court in Abuja ordered that the detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan be remanded in prison following the postponement of his bail hearing.

Gambaryan, a US citizen, pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges earlier today and will remain in custody until his bail hearing on April 18. The trial will commence on May 2, and in the interim, he will be held at Kuje Correctional Center, one of the largest prisons in the nation’s capital.

Today’s court appearance follows Gambaryan’s arrest over six weeks ago, along with another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, regarding the exchange’s alleged involvement in worsening Nigeria’s foreign exchange woes. Anjarwalla escaped custody last month but is being tried in absentia.

Binance has yet to respond to CryptoSlate’s request for comment as of press time.

Why Gambaryan was remanded

Gambaryan faces multiple charges, including five counts of money laundering. His legal counsel contended that he shouldn’t bear responsibility for Binance’s actions, stressing his limited decision-making role within the exchange.

However, Judge Emeka Nwite dismissed this argument, citing Gambaryan’s prior representation of Binance in Nigeria. Notably, Binance said Gambaryan had previously facilitated a training session for Nigerian law enforcement agents on how to detect crypto frauds.

Furthermore, the judge highlighted Gambaryan and Anjarwalla’s affidavit affirming their presence in Nigeria since February, acting as representatives of the crypto exchange firm.

Consequently, the judge deemed Gambaryan’s refusal to acknowledge the charges on Binance’s behalf as unlawful.

The judge further rejected Gambaryan’s lawyer’s appeal to detain him under the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The judge reportedly ruled that Gambaryan’ should be held at Kuje because there “have been Nigerians who had been convicted in the US and were detained in their prisons.”

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