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Binance execs remain in custody following Nigeria court appearance, family claim

A smartphone with displayed Binance logo and depiction of cryptocurrency are placed on a keyboard in this image shot, June 8, 2023

LAGOS, March 20 (mod1s) - Two executives from Binance, the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange, will stay in jail for at least two more weeks in Nigeria after appearing in court for the first time on Wednesday and even though they have not been charged with a crime, their families said.

Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and Binance's head of financial crime compliance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan who is Binance's regional manager for Africa, flew to Nigeria following the country's decision to ban several cryptocurrency trading websites and were detained on arrival on Feb. 26.

On Tuesday, the two men appeared in a Federal High Court in the capital Abuja. The Court and counsel for Gambaryan and Anjarwalla refused to comment.

Lawyers from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) urge the court to approve a fresh detention order, after the original one expired on March 12. The Binance executives are resisting this.

The court did not issue a verdict on EFCC's plea.

"At the court hearing in Abuja today, which was attended by Tigran and Nadeem, the court ruled that after hearing arguments from both parties, they would resume the session on April 5th," the families of the two executives said in a statement.

An EFCC representative did not reply to a request for comment.

Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were caught up in a crackdown during a time during which many cryptocurrency websites emerged as platforms of choice for trading the Nigerian currency, as the nation faces chronic dollar shortages.

Binance did not immediately reply to emailed queries.

The business said early this month that it was halting all transactions and trading in Nigeria's naira currency after March 8.


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