Binance: EFCC Continues Criminal Prosecution Against Gambarian

EFCC continues criminal charges against Gambarian

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday continued the money laundering prosecution of Binance Holdings executive Tigran Gambarian at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Despite the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) dropping the tax evasion charges it had filed against Gambarian and the cryptocurrency trading platform, the criminal prosecution before Justice Emeka Nwite continued.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC has filed five charges against Binance and Gambarian, while the FIRS has filed four charges against the two individuals.

Anti-corruption authorities had accused Binance and Gambarian of laundering as much as $35.4 million.

The company was also accused of terrorist financing.

NAN reports that Justice Nwite on Friday released Gambarian and his fugitive colleague, Nadim Anjarwala, from custody on tax evasion charges.

The judge issued the decision in a brief ruling following the FIRS filing of a new amended complaint after being informed that Binance had appointed its Nigerian representative, Ayodele Omotilewa, as the company’s director of operations in the country.

But ahead of today's hearing there were expectations that anti-corruption agencies would follow suit.

However, at the resumed hearing, EFCC counsel informed the court that the matter is set for defence cross-examination of the EFCC’s first prosecution witness (PW1), Mr Abdulkadir Abbas, Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Mr. Gambarian then walked over to the defendant's seat.

During cross-examination by the first defendant’s (Binance) counsel, Mr Babatunde Fagbohunle (SAN), Abass testified against Binance and Gambarian.

The witness, who is the Director of the SEC’s Registration, Trading and Market Infrastructure Division, said private companies wanting to raise capital from the public in Nigeria must become Public Limited Companies (PLCs) before conducting an IPO (Initial Public Offering).

However, he said that Binance was never even registered with his office in the first place.

He said SEC regulations require the agency to oversee all bitcoin trading platforms under Nigerian law.

Judge Nooyt adjourned the matter until June 21 for continued cross-examination.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *