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Money laundering: Binance executive collapses in court

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There was drama at a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday when Tigran Gambaryan, a detained executive of Binance, collapsed in court. Gambaryan, who is facing charges of money laundering, slumped shortly after his case was called for trial continuation before Justice Emeka Nwite.

The incident occurred when Gambaryan, seated in the back row, did not step forward to the dock as his case was called. Justice Nwite inquired about his whereabouts, and one of the defense lawyers, who was seated beside Gambaryan, helped him towards the dock. As they walked, Gambaryan collapsed, and the lawyer assisted him to sit in the front row.

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Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi, SAN, explained to the court that his client was unwell and had filed a written application to notify the court of his ill-health. “My lord, the case may not certainly proceed today,” Mordi said.

Throughout the proceeding, Gambaryan rested on the arm of his seat, appearing visibly weak. The court session highlighted his deteriorating condition, which had previously been communicated to the court.

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Justice Nwite had earlier, on May 16, denied Gambaryan’s bail application. The court ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had provided sufficient evidence suggesting that Gambaryan might flee if granted bail. Consequently, he remains in custody at Kuje Correctional Centre.

It’s worth noting that a related tax evasion case filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service against Binance Holdings Limited and Gambaryan was also delayed on Wednesday due to his absence from court.

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