Binance executive detained in Nigeria; faces legal battle amid tax evasion allegations

A Binance Holdings Ltd. executive, Tigran Gambaryan, has been sent to prison in Nigeria ahead of his trial in May.

Nigeria court sends Binance executive to prison ahead of trial in May

Gambaryan, the head of financial compliance at Binance, was initially detained for over 40 days after being invited by the Nigerian government. He now faces charges of tax evasion and fraud according to a report by Bloomberg.

Legal Proceedings and Charges:

Despite Gambaryan's counsel's plea for him to remain in the custody of the anti-graft commission, a court ordered his remand at the Kuje correctional center in Abuja. During his first court appearance on April 4, Gambaryan argued that he could not accept the charges on behalf of Binance as he was not authorized by the company.

However, Justice Emeka Nwite ruled that Gambaryan's admission of representing Binance in Nigeria indicated his involvement with the company in the country, allowing him to be served in place of his employer.


Gambaryan faces charges of tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering amounting to $34 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Despite pleading not guilty, he remains in custody. Binance has expressed disappointment over his detention, emphasizing his lack of decision-making power within the company and labeling the charges as baseless.

Future Legal Proceedings:

Justice Nwite has scheduled April 18 for the hearing on Gambaryan's bail application and May 5 for the trial. Another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who was detained alongside Gambaryan, has fled Nigeria. The two executives had visited Nigeria in February at the government's invitation to discuss cryptocurrency regulations following a crackdown on currency speculation due to the devaluation of the naira.

The situation highlights the complexities surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in Nigeria and the challenges faced by executives operating in this space.

As the legal battle unfolds, the outcome of Gambaryan's trial will be closely watched within the cryptocurrency community and the broader financial sector.



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