Binance Executive's Health Deteriorates in Jail as Nigeria Money-Laundering Trial Proceeds

The first Securities and Exchange Commission witness has been cross-examined and the money laundering trial adjourned till July 5.

AccessTimeIconJul 2, 2024 at 3:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 3, 2024 at 6:21 p.m. UTC
  • The first Securities and Exchange Commission witness in Nigeria's trial against Binance and its executives has been cross-examined.
  • The money-laundering trial reconvenes on July 5.
  • Tigran Gambaryan's health is deteriorating in jail, his family said.

Nigeria's money laundering trial against Binance and two executives was adjourned until July 5 following the cross-examination on Monday of the first witness from the country's Securities and Exchange Commission.

The court was also made aware that, despite several court orders, the prison where Tigran Gambaryan is being held has not released the medical records from his only visit to hospital, which took place a month ago. Gambaryan's health is deteriorating, according to his family. Justice Emeka Nwite again ordered that the reports should be provided to Gambaryan's lawyers by Friday.

Gambaryan, the crypto exchange's head of financial crime compliance, has been detained in the most populous African nation since February and is being held in Kuje prison alongside the likes of terrorist group Boko Haram. Another executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who also faces the money laundering charges, has since escaped.

"Tigran’s health continues to deteriorate in detention and he complained of numbness in his foot as well as back pain," a statement from the family's spokesperson said. "He has had double pneumonia and malaria whilst in prison."

"As I have stated many times before and as the evidence in court is showing, Tigran has never been a decision-maker at Binance, and there is no justification for his continued detention," Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran’s wife, said. "It is time for the Nigerian authorities to do the right thing and release my innocent husband."

U.S. members of Congress visited Gambaryan recently and urged the U.S. to take further action.

Binance is also the sole defendant in a tax evasion case that is adjourned until July 12 after charges against Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were dropped.

Binance declined to comment. CoinDesk reached out to Nigeria SEC and Economic and Nigeria's Financial Crimes Commission for comment.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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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.