Binance executive pleads not guilty to money laundering charges, to be remanded in prison

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Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance executive detained since February, pleaded not guilty to money laundering allegations brought against him by Nigerian authorities, as the crypto exchange battles a regulatory clampdown in the West African nation.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused Binance and Gambrayan of money laundering and foreign exchange manipulation. The crypto exchange also faces four-count tax evasion charges filed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS). Last week, the court adjourned both cases, citing the failure of the two agencies to inform the company before arraignment.
Gambaryan, who appeared before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday, pleaded not guilty to all four counts of money laundering, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
Nwite dismissed Gambaryan’s appeal to be served without the charges of his escaped colleague, Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, who fled the country on March 22. 
Gambaryan will be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre, pending the determination of his bail application on April 18.
The judge adjourned the case to May 2 for commencement of trial. 
Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were arrested and detained in February after flying into the country to resolve the company’s restricted website access—which the government blocked on suspicion of manipulating FX prices in unofficial markets. Binance’s regulatory woes in Nigeria are in connection with a push by the government to halt speculation on forex trading, following volatility in the price of the naira.
In a statement last week, Binance asked Nigerian authorities to release its detained official, saying he “has no decision-making power in the company and should not be held responsible while discussions are ongoing between Binance and the Nigerian government.” Both executives filed a human rights violation case in the Federal High Court, demanding their release, the return of their passports, and a public apology.

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Author : Tech-News Team

Publish date : 2024-04-08 23:08:18

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