Court Denies Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan Bail

May 18, 2024
Tigran Gambaryan Binance Executive

By Adedapo Adesanya

Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja has refused to grant bail to an Executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Mr Tigran Gambaryan, because he is likely to jump bail.

The company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before Justice Nwite.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Moving an application, the counsel to the defendant, Mr Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

But the prosecution counsel, Mr Ekele Iheanacho, opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant was a flight risk, noting that his attempt to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, was a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting him bail, especially since he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors, including the nature of offence and its severity, must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.

After the ruling, the EFCC called its first witness, a staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Nigerian government cracked down on the cryptocurrency platform in a bid to strengthen the Naira, playing it and its cohort for triggering the weakening of the currency.

Among other charges filed by the current administration against Binance were tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering to the tune of $35,400,000.

Binance Chief Executive Officer, Mr Richard Teng, recently accused some top government officials of demanding $150 million in crypto to settle the criminal charge against the firm.

He made the bribery allegation in a blog post published recently, and the FG has denied the claim.

According to him, Mr Gambaryan, a compliance officer with the exchange, claimed to have received an unsettling message on a trip to Nigeria in January.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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