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Court Adjourns $35 Million Money Laundering Trial of Binance Executives to May 17

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned till May 17 for the continuation of trial in the money laundering suit filed against Binance Holdings Limited and two of its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla.

Binance, Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and Head of Financial Crime, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British Kenyan, are facing trial for laundering more than $35 million.

The suit which was filed by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was supposed to resume today (Thursday), May 2.

Anjarwalla recently escaped from Nigerian authorities to Kenya.

On Friday, April 26, the court also adjourned a tax evasion trial against cryptocurrency exchange Binance and the two executives to May 17 after the matter was stalled because the exchange had not been formally served with the charges.

It was gathered that the Binance Executive, Gambaryan did not take a plea for tax evasion charges filed against him by FIRS.

Gambaryan lawyer, Chukwuka Ikuazom objected, arguing that since Binance and its executives were jointly charged, he could not take a plea until the platform, the first defendant in the case, had been served, according to Nigerian law.

Judge Emeka Nwite, therefore, adjourned to May 17 to give a ruling on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Binance, Gambaryan, and Anjarwalla face four counts of tax evasion. The charges include failure to register with Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for tax remittance purposes.

Binance, which was not represented in court and had no immediate comment, said it was working closely with Nigerian authorities following the detention of Gambaryan.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), last Tuesday, urged Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja to deny the bail application of Gambaryan.

The anti-graft agency said it was too risky to admit the foreigner to bail, noting the escape of his co-defendant, Anjarwalla, from the custody of the National Security Adviser and his escape to Kenya.

Meanwhile, Yuki, Gambaryan’s wife, last week, raised the alarm that the Nigerian government kept her husband in the Kuje prison together with Boko Haram terrorists and bandits.

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