Binance Executive, Gambaryan, Collapses During Alleged Money Laundering Trial 

Alex Enumah in Abuja 

The detained executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Mr Tigran Gambaryan, on Thursday slumped during his alleged money laundering trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Binance Holdings Limited, a cryptocurrency organization and Gambaryan are standing trial on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering, preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

Although, they pleaded not guilty and Gambaryan had asked the court to admit him to bail to enable him prepare adequately for his trial, Justice Emeka Nwite, the trial judge however, declined that he is a flight risk.

Subsequently, the court ordered the prosecution to call its witness, to prove their allegations made against the defendants.

Recall that the anti-graft agency at the last proceedings called a director at the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Abdulkadir Abbas, who had told the court that Binance used its Naira peer-to-peer (P2P) virtual feature to devalue the Nigerian currency.  

The First Prosecution Witness PW1, a  Director of Exchanges and Market Infrastructure (SEC), had claimed that the Naira P2P feature deployed by Binance as well as the number of people on the platform “adversely affected the official exchange rate.”  

However, at the resumed trial on Thursday Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi (SAN) informed the court that his client was not feeling too well since the last date of trial. 

It should be stated that Gambaryan was absent in court the previous day for his trial on allegations bordering on tax evasion.

When the matter was called on Thursday, a lawyer assisted Gambaryan to the dock but despite the assistance, the defendant slumped. 

His lawyer who claimed to be in possession of a letter detailing Gambaryan’s health conditions then prayed the court to adjourn the day’s proceedings to enable the defendant get adequate medical attention. 

This request was not opposed by the lawyer to the Commission, Mr Ekele Iheanacho

Justice Nwite subsequently adjourned till June 20 and 21 for cross-examination and trial. 

Binance, Gambaryan and another executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, said to be at large are accused of conspiring amongst themselves to conceal the origin of the financial proceeds of their alleged unlawful activities in Nigeria, including a sum of $35,400, 000.  

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