Binance executive denied bail in Nigeria

The courts adjourned the trials against Binance and Tigran Gambaryan until May 22 and May 23

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ANTON ZUBCHEVSKYI/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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A Nigerian court has refused Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan’s bail application, a family spokesperson told Blockworks.

The bail was denied on the grounds that the court believed Gambaryan could “jump bail,” though, per the spokesperson, he lacks a passport. The court was previously assured that Gambaryan wouldn’t flee. However, his colleague — Nadeem Anjarwalla — notably escaped Nigerian detention earlier this year. 

“I truly cannot believe that my innocent husband is now — on his 40th birthday — having to face a trial for charges that he has nothing to do with. The whole world is watching what he is being put through and I just pray that common sense and justice will prevail and that Tigran will be allowed to come home to us,” Yuki Gambaryan, his wife, said in a statement.

The court also ruled that keeping Gambaryan in custody would help to speed up the trial he faces. Gambaryan is being held at the Kuje Correctional Facility.

The bail hearing wasn’t the only case heard involving Gambaryan on Friday. The courts also heard the government’s charges of tax evasion, which were filed against both Binance and Gambaryan. 

Read more: Nigerian court postpones another Binance case to May 17

In the tax evasion case, the court adjourned until May 22 for arraignment after prosecutors filed an amended charge. 

The court adjourned until May 23 in the case charging Binance and Gambaryan with money laundering, following a request from Gambaryan’s lawyers. 

The first witness, Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission’s Abdulkadir Abbas, took the stand in the case and will be cross-examined by Gambaryan’s lawyers when the court’s in session next week.

“We are deeply disappointed that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, continues to be detained,” a Binance spokesperson told Blockworks.

“Tigran has been dedicated to public service and fighting crime for most of his life. These charges against him are completely meritless. He should be freed while discussions continue between Binance and Nigerian government officials.”

Binance came under scrutiny by Nigeria earlier this year. Gambaryan and his colleague Anjarwalla flew to meet with the government and were later detained. 

Binance has since ended support for the Nigerian naira.

Garba Umar of Interpol Africa said earlier this month that the agency drafted paperwork for Nadeem Anjarwalla, though a red notice — which informs law enforcement that the individual is wanted for arrest — has yet to be filed. 


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