US Lawmakers Clash with Nigeria Over Crypto Executive’s Trial

Clash Over Crypto: Nigeria Defends Trial of Binance Executive

Tensions are rising between Nigeria and the United States regarding the ongoing legal case against Binance and its executive, Tigran Gambaryan. Gambaryan faces charges of illegal cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria, a situation sparking international debate.

Nigeria Maintains Due Process

Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, issued a statement defending the legal proceedings. He emphasized that the trial adheres to established protocols and due process throughout. Prosecutors, according to the statement, are confident in their case based on the collected evidence.

Furthermore, the statement clarifies that Binance will have ample opportunity to defend itself in court against the serious financial crime charges. The next court hearing is scheduled for June 20th, 2024.

U.S. Lawmakers Call for Intervention

The minister’s statement came in response to a recent appeal by 12 U.S. politicians to President Biden. The letter urged the U.S. government to intervene and secure Gambaryan’s release through its hostage affairs unit.

The letter alleges that Gambaryan faces baseless charges, including money laundering and tax evasion. The politicians suspect these accusations are merely a tactic by Nigerian authorities to pressure Binance for financial gain.

Nigeria Rejects Extortion Claims

The minister dismissed these claims, assuring the public that Binance received appropriate consular access from the U.S. He stressed that Nigerian authorities are following standard diplomatic procedures and upholding the rule of law.

The denial of bail for Gambaryan stems from concerns about his potential flight risk, the minister explained. This concern is heightened due to the escape of a co-defendant, now subject to an international arrest warrant.

Binance’s Legal Woes in Nigeria

Binance is currently facing two separate lawsuits in Nigeria, one from the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the other from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The first lawsuit alleges tax evasion, while the second focuses on money laundering and violations of foreign exchange regulations.

These legal troubles began in February 2024 when the Nigerian government arrested Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, on suspicion of money laundering and tax evasion. While Gambaryan remains detained, Anjarwalla managed to escape to Kenya, leaving his colleague behind in a correctional facility in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The arrest coincided with the Nigerian government’s ban on cryptocurrency transactions, a move aimed at curbing currency speculation in the country. Additionally, a court order mandated that Binance provide the Nigerian government with data and details on Nigerian users of its platform.

The fate of Gambaryan and the future of cryptocurrency regulations in Nigeria remain uncertain. While Nigeria maintains it is following legal procedures, the U.S. and some politicians express concern over the fairness of the accusations and Gambaryan’s well-being. The upcoming court hearing on June 20th will likely shed further light on this developing international dispute.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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