Courtroom Drama: Binance Executive Collapses During Nigerian Trial Due To Alleged Illness

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In a surprising turn, Tigran Gambaryan, a detained executive from the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, collapsed during a court session at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria. 

Gambaryan, facing money laundering charges, experienced a health episode that intensified the complex legal battle between Binance and Nigerian authorities.

Trial Of Binance Executive Takes Unexpected Turn

As the trial was about to resume before Justice Emeka Nwite, Gambaryan remained seated instead of stepping forward to the dock when called by the court registrar. 

A lawyer from the defense team, sitting beside Gambaryan, assisted him in walking towards the dock. However, as they made their way, Gambaryan fell, prompting the lawyer to help him sit in the front-row seat.

Gambaryan’s attorney, Mark Mordi, informed the court that his client was “indisposed” and had filed a written request to inform the court of his condition. Mordi explained that due to Gambaryan’s health problems, the trial could not proceed that day.

On May 16, Justice Nwite denied Gambaryan’s bail application, citing concerns that the defendant might flee if released. As a result, Gambaryan has been remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre.

Trial Has Rescheduled For June 

The ongoing legal troubles faced by Binance in Nigeria are part of a broader crackdown by the government on the cryptocurrency platform. 

Nigerian authorities have accused Binance of facilitating illicit funds transfers totaling over $26 billion without proper oversight. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has further alleged that Binance engaged in tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering, amounting to $35.4 million.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s former regional manager for Africa, was also charged alongside Gambaryan. However, in March, Anjarwalla managed to escape from the custody of Nigeria’s National Security Adviser. He was subsequently traced to Kenya, where local authorities reportedly arrested him.

Amidst the legal battle, Judge Nwite ruled that Gambaryan should receive medical treatment at the hospital recommended by his lawyer or as suggested by prison authorities. The trial is now set to continue on June 20 and 21.

The native token of the exchange, Binance Coin (BNB), is trading at $597, reflecting a 4% decline in price over the past 24 hours. This downward movement aligns with the broader market correction triggered by Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), the leading cryptocurrencies.

On Tuesday, BNB, the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, reached a two-month high of $632. However, it failed to attempt a retest of its yearly high of $644, achieved on March 14, and its all-time high of $686, recorded during the bullish market phase of 2021.

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com

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