Binance executive’s bail hearing delayed in Nigeria

In this post:

  • Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive, will stay in Nigerian prison until at least May 17 due to a postponed bail hearing.
  • Gambaryan, an American and former IRS agent, was detained with colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla in Abuja on February 26.
  • Nigerian officials initially detained them under house arrest, later charging them with money laundering and tax evasion.

Tigran Gambaryan, a high-ranking executive with Binance, faces continued imprisonment in Nigeria as his bail hearing has been pushed back to May 17. This postponement was ordered by an Abuja court, which will not address his bail until his trial on money laundering charges begins.

Binance and the Turmoil in Abuja

Gambaryan, an American and a former agent at the Internal Revenue Service, is currently Binance’s head of financial crime compliance. On February 26, he and Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa and a UK-Kenyan citizen, were detained. Their arrest came shortly after their arrival in Abuja, where they were scheduled to meet with Nigerian officials—a meeting requested by the Nigerian government itself.

Initially, the Nigerian government levied accusations against Binance, claiming the company facilitated currency speculation that detrimentally impacted the Nigerian naira. While Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were initially not declared under arrest, their situation swiftly changed to house arrest, and within a month, escalated to formal charges of money laundering and tax evasion by the authorities.

Following Anjarwalla’s mysterious flight from Nigeria, Gambaryan was transferred to the infamous Kuje prison, known also for housing suspects linked to the Boko Haram group. In a video message recorded after his colleague’s departure, Gambaryan expressed his unawareness of Anjarwalla’s plans and pleaded for U.S. government intervention.

Harsh Realities and Legal Battles

The response to Gambaryan’s detainment from the U.S. has been minimal, with the U.S. embassy staff visiting him just once since his relocation to Kuje prison, where his access to legal representation remains severely restricted.

Yuki Gambaryan, his wife, has publicly criticized the treatment of her husband, labeling it as unjust and a form of cruelty. She expressed her ongoing distress and anxiety over her husband’s fate as he faces his 40th birthday in confinement.

In a countermove, both Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have sued Nigeria’s National Security Advisor and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, accusing them of human rights violations. Despite the serious charges, Gambaryan has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty.

The trial addressing the money laundering accusations is set to commence on May 2, with the tax evasion charges being handled separately starting May 17. During a recent court session, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission argued against granting bail to Gambaryan, citing the flight risk demonstrated by Anjarwalla’s escape and an alleged attempt by Gambaryan to acquire a new passport after his had been seized.

The prosecution stressed the potential danger in releasing Gambaryan, emphasizing his lack of ties to any community in Nigeria and the risk of him following Anjarwalla’s footsteps. Conversely, Gambaryan’s defense argued that there is no credible evidence justifying his continued detention and highlighted the lack of concrete proof linking Gambaryan to any planned escape or wrongdoing.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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