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Binance Exec Tigran Gambaryan Denied Bail by Nigerian Court

Tigran Gambaryan’s bail was refused by a Nigerian court on Friday.

Nigeria has taken Binance and its executives to court and is pursuing tax evasion and money laundering charges.

Detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan’s bail application was denied by a Nigerian court on the grounds that there is a likelihood that he will manage to jump bail, the spokesperson for the executive’s family said on Friday.

Binance and the executives’ money laundering, tax evasion and the exchanges detained Head of Compliance Tigran Gambaryans bail hearings all occurred on Friday in Nigeria. The court ruled that Binance can be served with the Federal Inland Revenue Service tax evasion charge through Gambaryan.

Tigran’s lawyers objected to the application on the grounds that they needed to review the amended charge to advise Gambaryan on taking his plea, and the court agreed to adjourn the matter to May 22 for arraignment.

Gambaryan, who turned 40 on Friday, has been detained in Nigeria since February when he arrived with the British-Kenyan regional manager for Africa, Nadeem Anjarwalla. Anjarwalla has since escaped.

“I truly cannot believe that my innocent husband is now – on his 40th birthday – having to face a trial for charges that he has nothing to do with,” said Yuki Gambaryan, the wife of Tigran Gambaryan.

“The whole world is watching what he is being put through, and I just pray that common sense and justice will prevail and that Tigran will be allowed to come home to us.”

A month after the exchange’s executives were detained in the country, they, along with the exchange, were charged with money laundering and tax evasion. Gambaryan was later moved to Kuje prison, which also houses the likes of members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The EFCC’s money laundering trial commenced on Friday with a Nigerian prosecutor who called on Abdulkadir Abbas from the Nigerian SEC as the first prosecution witness.

After the prosecution finished examining their first witness, Tigran’s lawyers asked for a stand down—which means to put a matter on hold for a short while—to obtain certified records of certain documents in the proof of evidence to be used in their cross-examination of the witness. The court adjourned the trial until May 23 at noon.

“We are deeply disappointed that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, continues to be detained. Tigran has been dedicated to public service and fighting crime for most of his life. These charges against him are completely meritless. He should be freed while discussions continue between Binance and Nigerian government officials,” a Binance Spokesperson said.

Binance’s CEO Richard Teng recently released a blog post calling on the Nigerian government to release Gambaryan.

Read more: Binance CEO Teng Says Nigeria Must Release Gambaryan, Detention Sets ‘Dangerous New Precedent’

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