Binance Money Laundering Trial in Nigeria Pushed to June 20 Due to Executive’s Illness

Binance's head of financial crimes compliance Tigran Gambaryan is seriously ill, his lawyers said.

AccessTimeIconMay 24, 2024 at 8:53 a.m. UTC
Updated May 29, 2024 at 4:40 p.m. UTC
  • Thursday’s money laundering trial against Binance in Nigeria was postponed till June 20.
  • Tigran Gambaryan, Binance’s compliance head, was seriously ill and needed medical attention.

A Nigerian court on Thursday adjourned the money laundering trial against Binance and two of its executives to June 20 as one of the executives was ill, a family spokesperson for the executives told CoinDesk.

Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and Binance’s head of financial crimes compliance, was charged with both tax evasion and money laundering along with his employer. Gambaryan is “very ill and requires comprehensive medical attention,” his lawyer said in a letter to trial judge Emeka Nwite, a Reuters report said.

After Gambaryan broke down on Thursday, the medical facility gave him intravenous treatment for malaria, his lawyer said in the letter.

Gambaryan, who turned 40 in prison last week, was moved to Kuje prison, which houses members of the Boko Haram terrorist group, after being detained by Nigerian authorities in February. He was also detained alongside British-Kenyan regional manager for Africa, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who later escaped but was included in the money laundering charges.

“Yesterday, despite numerous signs of severe illness, my husband was still required to appear in court, where he later collapsed," Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki Gambaryan, said in the statement seen by CoinDesk. “The conditions in the notorious Kuje prison are, in a word, devastating. My husband is a strong, healthy person, but he is facing an environment that would bring even the strongest among us to our knees."

Gambaryan was also meant to appear on Wednesday for his arraignment regarding the tax evasion charges but this was postponed to June 14, a family spokesperson said at the time. He did not appear for that session, Reuters reported.

Last week, the executive was also denied bail on the grounds that he might try to escape.

“I am calling, yet again, for his immediate release," Gambaryan’s wife said. "This punitive punishment against Tigran in an effort to target his employer has gone on long enough. My husband is sick; he needs help. Please, show some sense of humanity.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.