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The executive officer of Binance the company, Tigran Gambaryan, was on Monday, arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on a 5-count criminal charge bordering on alleged money laundering and tax evasion offence.

Gambaryan was docked alongside the company itself.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had alleged that the defendants between January 2023 and January 2024 in Abuja carried out specialised business of other financial institution without valid licence.

EFCC lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho said the offences which were committed between January 2023 and December 2023 in Abuja were contrary to and punishable under Section 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

The offence is said to be contrary to Section 57(1) and (2) of the Banks and Other Financial, Institutions Act, 2020 and punishable under Section 57(5) of the same Act.

Before the arraignment, Justice Emeka Nwite had in a brief ruling dismissed the objection by Gambaryan to taking plea on behalf of Binance on the ground that he was not its representative and had no written authority to do so.

Justice Nwite in dismissing the objection held that Gambaryan had in an affidavit claimed to be representative of the Company and transacted businesses on its behalf in Nigeria.

Effort by Gambaryan’s lawyer to have the defendant remanded at the custody of the EFCC was futile as Justice Nwite discountenance the plea.

Subsequently, the court ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kuje.

The court also slated April 18, for hearing of the defendant’s application for bail and May 2, for commencement of trial.



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