Binance CEO Vows Cooperation With Nigerian Authorities In $35M Money Laundering Case








In a recent development, Richard Teng, the CEO of Binance, has confirmed the company’s close cooperation with Nigerian authorities following the detention of its head of financial crime compliance, Tigran Gambaryan. Gambaryan and another Binance official are facing accusations of laundering over $35 million. 

According to a Reuters report, the Nigerian court has adjourned the case until May 2, as confirmed by the country’s anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Binance Executives Face Mounting Legal Troubles

As previously reported by Bitcoinist, the detained executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, arrived in Nigeria after the country’s ban on several cryptocurrency trading websites. 

On February 26, they were detained by Nigeria’s EFCC. While Gambaryan’s case is ongoing, Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan regional manager for Africa, fled Nigeria last month. However, authorities have now discovered his whereabouts in Kenya.

According to a local newspaper, Nigerian authorities, in collaboration with the Kenyan government and INTERPOL, located Nadeem Anjarwalla in Kenya after he escaped custody. The Nigerian Federal Government is working towards his extradition to Nigeria to face the charges against him. 

The EFCC, along with international law enforcement agencies such as the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is leading the efforts to ensure Anjarwalla’s return.

In the wake of these developments, Binance CEO Richard Teng, who took the helm of the company after Changpeng Zhao (CZ) agreed to step down as CEO in the 2023 settlement with US regulators, said at a recent crypto conference in Dubai, “What I can say is that we are working very closely with the Nigerian authorities to try to resolve the matter.”

Tax Evasion Charges Added To Detention Woes

Binance’s head of regional markets, Vishal Sacheendran, acknowledged the company’s arrests were unprecedented. However, he declined to comment to Reuters on the charges against the company itself.

The EFCC Chair, Ola Olukoyede, emphasized that the commission’s involvement in the prosecution of Binance executives conveyed a strong message about the EFCC’s determination to curb distortions and disruptions in Nigeria’s forex market. 

The EFCC is collaborating with various international agencies, including INTERPOL, the FBI, and the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya, to extradite the accused individuals.

In addition to the EFCC case, Binance and its executives also face tax evasion charges brought by Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The tax evasion case is scheduled to appear before a court on Friday.

As the legal proceedings continue, the cryptocurrency community awaits further updates on the outcome of the cases against Binance’s executives and the implications they might have on the company’s operations in Nigeria and beyond.

Binance
The daily chart shows BNB’s sideways price action over the past 24 hours. Source: BNBUSD on TradingView.com

The exchange’s native token, BNB, is trading at $556, up a slight 1% over the past 24 hours. 

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com 



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