Binance Executive Denied Bail in Nigerian Money Laundering Case

Binance Executive Denied Bail in Nigerian Money Laundering Case

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to grant bail to Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive charged with money laundering and tax violations in Nigeria.

On Friday, Justice Emeka Nwite denied Gambaryan’s bail, citing his potential flight risk and the seriousness of the allegations. Gambaryan, who serves as the head of financial crime compliance at Binance, was arrested in February shortly after his arrival in Nigeria to discuss the crypto exchange’s operations with government officials. The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is handling the $35 million money laundering case, while the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) oversees the tax violation charges.

In court, Justice Nwite stressed that the nature of the offenses required a cautious approach to bail. Gambaryan, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges formally presented on April 8, remains in detention.

A Binance spokesperson expressed the company’s disappointment, stating, “We are deeply disappointed that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, continues to be detained. 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 CEO Richard Teng also criticized the detention, highlighting the problematic precedent it sets for international businesses. “To invite a company’s mid-level employees for collaborative policy meetings, only to detain them, has set a dangerous new precedent for all companies worldwide,” Teng wrote in a recent blog post.

As the trial continues, international attention is growing, focusing not only on the specific charges against Gambaryan but also on the broader implications for foreign businesses operating in Nigeria.

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