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Binance and Its Never-Ending Legal Woes, Tigran Gambaryan in Trouble

Tigran Gambaryan has been moved to a jail managed by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency after spending five weeks in detention in a government guest house.

  • Binance and CEO "CZ" plead guilty to criminal charges, resulting in a collective $4.35 billion in fines and CZ's resignation.
  • Nigeria accuses Binance of contributing to the Naira's devaluation, detains two executives, and seeks $10 billion in damages.
  • Binance faces escalating issues in Nigeria, with one executive fleeing and another transferred to a high-security jail.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been under the radar for quite some time now and lately, things have turned completely against it. 

Last year in November, Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known as "CZ" pleaded guilty to three criminal charges — operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and conspiracy charges.

As part of that plea, CZ agreed to resign and pay a $50 million fine, while Binance agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement for similar charges.

Additionally, last year in December, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of India issued show-cause notices to several international digital asset service firms including Binance, accusing them of unlawful operations and breaches of Anti-Money Laundering laws. In fact, in January, FIU restricted website access to Binance and various other crypto platforms.

While all these events were already a bit too much for Binance, a new challenge has emerged out of nowhere. And this time, it’s not just the company but also involves two of its executives, who are currently in a situation that’s beyond their control. 

Quick Recap

Before diving into the crux of the matter, here’s a quick recap of what has been happening with Binance in Nigeria. 

As reported before, amid an economic crisis, Nigeria accused Binance of negatively impacting its currency Naira by engaging in speculative activities, contributing to a nearly 70% devaluation of the naira in recent months. Consequently, the African country is seeking about $10 billion in damages from the crypto exchange. 

Furthermore, in February, Binance's regional manager for Africa, Nadeem Anjarwalla, and financial crime compliance head, Tigran Gambaryan, were detained. While Anjarwalla fled Nigeria on March 22, Gambaryan is still under the Nigerian government’s custody. 

Now, as per reports, Nigeria is collaborating with global authorities like the INTERPOL, the FBI, and the UK and Kenyan governments for Anjarwalla's extradition. 

Gambaryan’s Plight

Binance has been quiet for a long time while the exchange was going through various legal difficulties and its executives were in serious situations. However, on April 3, Binance issued a statement supporting Gambaryan.

But that doesn't seem to be doing any good to the Binance senior executive. Rather, Gambaryan’s plight in Nigeria is going from bad to worse. 

According to a report, Gambaryan has been moved to a jail managed by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency after spending five weeks in detention in a government guest house. Per reports, the transfer has been made to prevent Gambaryan from escaping custody after his colleague, Anjarwalla, escaped Nigeria.

What’s Next?

The last couple of months, indeed, have been challenging for Binance. And this is not just in terms of the escalating legal events. The company has also seen top executives leave while cutting thousands of jobs worldwide. 

Now, as the woes faced by Binance in Nigeria further escalate, what twists and turns do you anticipate next in the ongoing saga? 

Edited by Harshajit Sarmah