EFCC Urges Court To Deny Bail To Binance Executive, Cites Flight Risk


Apr 23, 2024

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to deny bail to Tigran Gambaryan, an executive of Binance Holdings Limited, citing a high risk of flight. Gambaryan has been in custody for over 50 days and claims he deserves bail, arguing that the prosecution’s evidence is based on hearsay and unreliable information.

Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi (SAN), argued that his client is not a flight risk and has cooperated with the investigation. He claimed that the EFCC is holding Gambaryan as leverage to obtain information from his employer, Binance Holdings Limited.

However, EFCC counsel Emeka Iheanacho countered that Gambaryan poses a flight risk, just like his colleague, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who absconded after being granted bail. Iheanacho presented evidence that Gambaryan had attempted to flee the country and had disposed of his assets to avoid forfeiture.

The EFCC also requested that Gambaryan be moved from Kuje prison to EFCC custody to prevent escape. Iheanacho argued that Gambaryan’s presence in Kuje prison poses a security risk and that the EFCC has received intelligence that he may attempt to escape.

Gambaryan, Binance Holdings Limited, and Anjarwalla are accused of conspiring to conceal the origin of financial proceeds from alleged unlawful activities in Nigeria, contrary to the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022. The EFCC alleges that the defendants laundered millions of dollars through the Nigerian financial system.

Justice Emeka Nwite adjourned the matter until May 17 for a ruling on the bail application. The EFCC’s request to deny bail and move Gambaryan to EFCC custody aims to ensure he does not escape justice like his colleague.

The case highlights the EFCC’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, and the court’s decision will be closely watched. The outcome may set a precedent for future cases involving cryptocurrency and financial crimes.

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