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EFCC fails to arraign Binance executive as Gambaryan denies being cryptocurrency platform’s agent 



Tigran Gambaryan

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has failed to arraign Binance Ltd, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla before the Federal High Court, Abuja in its suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/138/2024. 

Their planned arraignment on Thursday was stalled following a strong objection from Gambaryan’s legal team which insisted that he is not an agent of Binance. 

Today, April 4, 2024, was scheduled by the court for the trio to take their plea in separate suits filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the EFCC. 

The EFCC accused the defendants of money laundering and foreign exchange contravention to the tune of $35,400, 000. 

In the charge sheet seen by ThePressNG, the EFCC alleged they concealed the origin of a cumulative sum of $35,400, 000 generated as revenue by BINANCE in Nigeria knowing that the funds constituted proceeds of unlawful activity. 

Some of the counts read, 

When the court resumed on Thursday, Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi SAN contended that his client cannot take his plea because he refused to accept service on behalf of Binance as he is not authorized by the company to do so. 

According to him, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) mandates the antigraft agency to ensure that the company (Binance) would have been served, then the company would appoint a representative in writing. 

He said it is only then can service and processes can be served on Binance. 

He added, “his client is not an executive of Binance and does not reside in Nigeria to qualify as an agent.” 

He explained further, 

But EFCC counsel, Ekene Iheanacho maintained that though there is no physical presence of Binance in Nigeria,  Gambaryan is the cryptocurrency platform’s agent in the country. 

Justice Emeka Nwite said that given the arguments on the possibility of arraigning Gambaryan by EFCC, he would adjourn for a ruling. 

The court also ordered that the defendant be remanded at the EFCC custody from where he was brought to the court.