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Court remands Binance Executive in Kuje Prison

Court remands Binance Executive in Kuje Prison

Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the remand of a Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, at the Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja pending the determination of his bail application.

Justice Nwite issued the directive on Monday after Gambaryan pleaded not guilty to the money laundering allegation preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

GALAXYTV reports that the judge then adjourned till April 18, 2024, for the determination of his bail application and scheduled the trial to begin on May 2.

The anti-graft agency had arraigned Binance Holdings Limited, a cryptocurrency firm, and Tigran Gambaryan, the company’s head of financial crime compliance on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering.

In the charge filed on March 28 by the anti-graft agency, the company executives are being accused of money laundering to the tune of $35,400,000.

EFCC  alleged in one of the counts that, the defendants, between January 2023 and January 2024 in Abuja, carried out a specialised business of other financial institutions without valid licence. The offence is said to be contrary to Section 57(1) and (2) of the Banks and Other Financial, Institutions Act, 2020 and punishable under Section 57(5) of the same Act.

It would be recalled that, Justice Nwite had, on March 18, ordered Binance Holdings Limited to provide the EFCC with the comprehensive data or information of all persons from Nigeria trading on its platform.

The judge granted the interim order after ruling on the ex-parte motion moved by the EFCC’s lawyer to enable the anti-graft agency unravel the alleged money laundering and terrorism financing on the Binance platform.

The commission said it uncovered users who had been using the platform for price discovery, confirmation and market manipulation which had caused tremendous distortions in the market, resulting in the Naira losing its value against other currencies.

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