Alleged Money Laundering: Court Denies Binance Executive Bail

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, denied the bail application of Binance crypto currency executive, identified as Tigran Gambaryan.

Recall that the company and its officials are facing a number of criminal charges in Nigeria after the federal government recently cracked down on the cryptocurrency platform in a bid to strengthen the naira.

Justice Emeka Nwite, on Friday, while delivering the ruling held that the bail application is refused as he has carefully gone through the application submitted before him and resolved that the defendant will jump bail if granted.

It was gathered that the crypto company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before the judge.

READ MORE: Money Laundering: Binance Founder Sentenced To Four Months In Prison In U.S

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Counsel to the defendant, Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to his client and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

The Prosecution Counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant was a flight risk.

He stated that Tigrana tempted to obtain a new passport which he claimed was stolen, and this was a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting him bail, especially since he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

Ekele said: “The fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth.”

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors including the nature of offence and its severity must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.