EFCC to continue trial of Binance director, Gambaryan - Ripples Nigeria
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EFCC to continue trial of Binance director, Gambaryan

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, continued with the alleged money laundering trial of an executive director of crypto trading platform, Binance, Tigran Gambaryan, at the Federal High Court, Abuja

The commission continued with the case despite the withdrawal of a charge by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) against Gambaryan in the alleged tax evasion case filed against him and Binance.

The EFCC filed a five-count charge against Binance and Gambaryan while FIRS filed a four-count charge against the duo.

The anti-graft agency had accused Binance and Gambaryan of money laundering involving $35.4 million.

Besides, the company was under suspicion of alleged terrorism financing.

Justice Emeka Nwite had on Friday, discharged the detained Gambaryan and his fleeing colleague, Nadeem Anjarwalla, from the alleged tax evasion charge.

The judge took the decision in a short ruling following a fresh amended charge filed by the FIRS on a notice from Binance about its appointment of a Nigerian representative, Mr. Ayodele Omotilewa, to oversee its affairs in the country.

READ ALSO: Court dismisses Binance director, Anjarwalla’s suit against EFCC

However, expectations were high prior to today’s proceedings that the anti-graft agency would follow suit.

But at the resumed hearing, the EFCC’s lawyer, informed the court that the matter was slated for the defence to cross-examined the agency’s first prosecution witness, Abdulkadir Abbas, a Director with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Then Gambaryan stepped forward into the dock.

The Indian, who was cross-examined by counsel for the defendant (Binance), Mr. Babatunde Fagbohunlu (SAN), Abbas testified against Binance and Gambaryan.

The witness, who is Director of Registration, Exchanges and Market Infrastructure Department at SEC, said a private company that wants to raise capital from the public in Nigeria, must become a Public Limited Company (PLC) before it can engage in IPO (Initial Public Offer).

He, however, said that Binance did not even registered with his office in the first place.

Justice Nwite adjourned the matter till Friday for continuation of cross-examination.

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