Nigerian Court Delays Money Laundering Case of Binance and Its Executives

Nigerian Court Delays Money Laundering Case of Binance and Its Executives

Nigerian regulators have put legal proceedings against Binance on hold. The directive to postpone the trial was issued by a judge in the Nigerian court who reportedly adjourned the proceedings against Binance and two executives of the firm until 17th May. This has granted the lawyers working on the case sufficient time to review all documents associated with the lawsuit.

Tigran Gambaryan is one of the named Binance executives who is involved in the case. He and his colleagues were detained in Nigeria since February this year. A Reuters report published on 2nd May noted that defendants are yet to receive documents in order to proceed with the legal process.

Gambaryan and regional managed Nadeem Anjarwalla are facing money-laundering charges. After the postponement, the lawsuit has been adjourned until 17th May.

Meanwhile, Binance is also facing a whole different series of lawsuits that alleged the firm with charges of tax evasion. The lawsuit against the detained Binance executives has been initiated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria.

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The parties involved in the case have pleaded not guilty in the money laundering case. Meanwhile, the executives are set to attend a bail hearing on 19th May.

Nigeran Authorities Detained Binance Executives

Anjarwalla and Gambaryan as reported earlier by Cointelegraph travelled to the country under the pretext of having a meeting with local regulators. The regulators in the region have alleged that the firm was involved in manipulating the value of the local fiat currency namely naira.

Under this pretext, the authorities in the region detained and arrested the visiting executives and charged them with tax evasion and money laundering.

However, Anjarwalla was able to get out of custody and managed to travel to Kenya. He had a Kenyan and UK nationality. However, Interpol reported in April that the international police were making strides in the extradition of the regional manager.

Meanwhile, the proponents of the cryptocurrency community have raised concerns regarding the merit of the allegations against Binance executives.

At the same time, Binance has announced that it has halted all transactions in naira and raised questions on the timing of the arrests. Binance further noted that Gambaryan does not hold any decision-making power at the firm.

In another criminal case facing Binance in the United States, a judge sentenced a Binance former CEO CZ to four months in prison on 30th April. The sentence arrived after he admitted to charges for failure to incorporate AML checks on the trading platform.

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IMF Encourages Crypto Adoption in Nigeria

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued recommendations for Nigeria to address the macro-economic constraints. A Cointelegraph article noticed that the IMF has suggested that the country issues licenses for global trading platforms as part of economic reformation strategies.

An IMF report on the matter is inclusive of the integration of cryptocurrencies into the financial system as a means to strengthen the position of the region as a crypto hub in Africa.

Future of Crypto Exchanges in Nigeria

IMF analysts recommended that Nigerian regulators may issue licenses and registration for crypto trading platforms. The report noted that authorities have to mandate AML and CFT checks on local crypto service providers and ensure risk supervision.

The report has noticed that in 2023, Neo banks were operating in large negatives while accounting for 2% of the nation’s GDP in 2020 with a $7.5 billion contribution.

IMF further stated that regulation and licensing of Nigerian crypto exchanges can pave the way for international investment leading to financial stabilization. The endorsement from the IMF of the Nigerian crypto asset has arrived at a time when the macro-economic constraints in the region are devolving into inflation and fiat devaluation.

IMF views the crypto industry as a way to stable and efficient transactional process. On the other side, the Nigerian SEC is working on imposing a ban on peer-to-peer trading options for cryptocurrency investors in the region with naira.

Author: Isacco Genovesi

Isacco writes news articles, reviews and guides about cryptocurrencies including technical analysis, blockchain events, coin prices marketcap and detailed reviews on crypto exchanges and trading platforms.

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