Friday, May 24, 2024

Binance executive collapeses in court in Nigeria - Trial pushed to June

A Nigerian court on Thursday adjourned a money laundry trial against cryptocurrency exchange Binance and two of its executives to June 20 because one of the defendants was not well enough to stand trial.

Binance and executives Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and head of financial crimes compliance, and British-Kenyan national Nadeem Anjarwalla, a regional manager for Africa, have been charged with laundering more than $35 million and engaging in specialised financial activities without a licence.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the money laundering charges.

Gambaryan, who has been in detention since February, is "very ill and requires comprehensive medical attention," his lawyer said in a letter to trial judge Emeka Nwite.

"The applicant broke down yesterday and the medical facility gave him intravenous treatment for malaria," the letter said.

Gambaryan, who also faces four counts of tax evasion alongside Binance and his colleague Anjarwalla, did not appear in court on Wednesday for that trial.

Judge Nwite ruled that Gambaryan should be treated at the hospital requested by his lawyer or any other recommended by prison authorities. He adjourned for the trial to continue on June 20 and 21.

Nigeria blamed Binance for its currency woes after cryptocurrency websites became the platforms of choice for trading the Nigerian naira as the country grappled with chronic dollar shortages and the currency fell to a record low. 

By Camillus Eboh, Reuters 

Related story: Nigeria rejects Binance CEO's bribery claim

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