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How Binance Executive Slumped in court

There was a mild drama at the Federal High Court, Abuja, during the ongoing trial of Tigran Gambaryan, a detained executive of cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance.

Gambaryan suddenly slumped in the courtroom before the proceedings could begin.

He was later assisted up and made to sit in the front row.

Gambaryan’s attorney, Mark Mordi explained that his client had been unwell and that a written application had been submitted to inform the court of his condition.

Modi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), emphasized that Gambaryan had been indisposed since the last trial date.

“My lord, the case may not certainly proceed today,” the lawyer added.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Gambaryan for alleged foreign exchange (forex) violations and money laundering.

This case follows accusations by the federal government that Binance, through its Naira peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, manipulated the Nigerian currency.

The government claims Binance executives, including Gambaryan and the currently-fleeing Nadeem Anjarwalla, conspired to hide the source of funds exceeding $35m related to their alleged illegal activities in Nigeria.

These activities violate Section 21 (a) and are punishable under Section 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

Mordi informed the court of his client’s deteriorating health since the last hearing.

He presented a letter detailing Gambaryan’s condition and requested an adjournment to allow for proper medical attention.

The EFCC prosecutor, Ekele Iheanacho, did not object to the request.

Justice Emeka Nwite consequently postponed the trial.

The Judge rescheduled cross-examination and further proceedings for June 20th and 21st.