Court denies bail for Binance Executive in money laundering case - Ripples Nigeria
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Court denies bail for Binance Executive in money laundering case



A Nigerian Federal High Court judge, on Friday, rejected a bail application by a Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, who is facing charges of money laundering.

The court, in the ruling that was delivered by Justice Emeka Nwite, said it was not convinced that the defendant, who is facing a five-count money laundering and terrorism financing charge alongside the company, would be available to face his trial once he is released on bail.

According to the court, the defendant, failed to present sufficient materials to sway its discretion in his favour.

Justice Nwite held that based on affidavit evidence that was adduced by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) there is the likelihood that the defendant may jump bail.

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Consequently, it dismissed the defendant’s application to be granted bail, pending the determination of the case against him.

The court ordered accelerated hearing of the matter.

This development comes amid ongoing scrutiny of cryptocurrency transactions and their potential use for illicit activities.

Details of the Case:

Gambaryan was arrested in April 2024 and arraigned on five counts of money laundering. The prosecution alleges that he facilitated the movement of illicit funds through Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform. The specific details of the alleged money laundering scheme have not been publicly disclosed.

Binance’s Stance:

Binance has maintained its innocence and denied any involvement in illegal activities. The company previously stated that Gambaryan was in Nigeria for legitimate business purposes, meeting with government officials to discuss crypto regulation.

Significance of the Ruling:

The court’s decision to deny bail suggests that the judge believes Gambaryan poses a flight risk or could potentially tamper with evidence. This ruling could also indicate the seriousness with which Nigerian authorities are treating the allegations against Binance.

Impact on Cryptocurrency Industry:

The case against Gambaryan raises concerns about the potential for money laundering within the cryptocurrency industry. Regulatory bodies worldwide are increasingly focusing on establishing frameworks to monitor and prevent such activities. This incident could further heighten scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges operating in Nigeria.

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