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    Binance exec will remain in Nigerian custody until May 17 bail hearing: Report

    2024.04.24 | exchangesranking | 56onlookers
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    Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive detained in Nigeria since February, will reportedly remain in custody until a bail hearing on May 17.

    According to April 23 reports from local news outlets, Gambaryan will remain in Nigeria’s Kuje prison until at least May 17, when a judge will decide whether to grant the Binance executive bail. He initially traveled to Nigeria in February with fellow Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla to address claims the exchange manipulated the country’s fiat currency, the naira. Nigerian authorities detained both Binance executives as the crypto exchange announced that it intended to cease all naira transactions.

    Gambaryan was expected to return to court on April 19 following an initial postponement, and the question of bail was to be addressed on April 22. He has pleaded not guilty to tax evasion and money laundering charges brought by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, with a trial scheduled for May 2.

    Anjarwalla reportedly escaped Nigeria custody in March, using his Kenyan passport — he is both a British and Kenyan national — to fly out of Abuja. Reports from April 22 suggested that Kenya’s police arrested Anjarwalla and may extradite him to Nigeria to face criminal charges. 

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    Many have criticized the government’s charges as lacking merit, as Binance said Gambaryan had “no decision-making power” at the crypto firm. On March 30, Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran’s wife, launched a petition for the U.S. State Department, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerian government and U.S. President Joe Biden to to return him to the United States. As of April 23, the petition had 3,960 signatures.

    In a separate case in the United States, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is expected to be sentenced on April 30 following his guilty plea for failure to maintain an Anti-Money Laundering program while leading the exchange. He could face up to 10 years in prison.

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