Binance Executive to Remain in Nigerian Custody Until Bail Hearing


Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive detained in Nigeria since February, will reportedly remain in custody until at least May 17, pending a bail hearing.

Reports from local news outlets on April 23 revealed that Gambaryan will stay in Nigeria’s Kuje prison until the scheduled bail hearing on May 17. The judge will then decide whether to grant bail to the Binance executive. 

Binance Exec is in Nigerian Custody

Gambaryan, along with fellow Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla, traveled to Nigeria in February to address claims that the exchange manipulated the country’s fiat currency, the naira. Nigerian authorities detained both executives when Binance announced its intention to cease all naira transactions.

Initially expected to appear in court on April 19, Gambaryan’s court appearance was postponed, and the bail hearing was rescheduled for April 22. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of tax evasion and money laundering brought by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, with a trial scheduled for May 2.

Escaping Custody

Reports indicate that Anjarwalla managed to escape Nigerian custody in March, using his Kenyan passport—he holds citizenship in both the UK and Kenya—to fly out of Abuja. Recent reports suggested that Kenya’s police arrested Anjarwalla, potentially for extradition to Nigeria to face criminal charges.

Critics have questioned the legitimacy of the government’s charges, especially considering Binance’s statement that Gambaryan had “no decision-making power” at the crypto firm. 

Securing Binance Exec’s Return to the US

Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran’s wife, launched a petition on March 30, urging the U.S. State Department, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerian government, and U.S. President Joe Biden to secure his return to the United States. The petition has garnered 3,960 signatures as of April 23.

In a separate legal case in the United States, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 after pleading guilty to failure to maintain an anti-money laundering program while leading the exchange. He could face up to 10 years in prison.

Crypto and Nigeria

Cryptocurrencies are quite popular in Nigeria, with a recent report revealing that 99% of the population is familiar with the concept and 91% are willing to make an investment.

Meanwhile, Binance has faced regulatory hurdles in its operations in the country, and Bayo Onanuga, an adviser to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, asked for the ban of Binance, KuCoin, and other trading platforms in the country.

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