Troubled global cryptocurrency exchange Binance is facing more issues in Nigeria as its United States-based executive Tigran Gambaryan remains detained in the country.

Nigeria has introduced more charges against Binance despite the exchange trying to find dialogue with local regulators, The Wall Street Journal reported on April 3.

Binance has been actively working with authorities in Nigeria since local regulators blamed the crypto exchange for helping crash its fiat currency, the Nigerian naira, in February 2024.

Bayo Onanuga, the presidential adviser on information and strategy, suggested banning platforms like Binance in the country.

In response to the threat of the ban, two senior Binance executives, including Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, came to Nigeria to attempt to find a dialogue with local authorities.

However, both were detained even after Binance urgently delisted all naira transactions and stopped peer-to-peer naira transactions in February.

Binance’s Tigran Gambaryan at a 2023 conference. Source: WSJ

The WSJ’s report on new charges comes amid Binance releasing a new statement urging Nigerian authorities to let go of Gambaryan.

The exchange argued that the exec has “decision-making power” at the company and should not be held responsible while discussions are ongoing between Binance and Nigerian government officials.

While Gambaryan remains arrested in Nigeria, Anjarwalla, another co-accused Binance exec, reportedly escaped the country using a fake passport in March.

According to local reports, Anjarwalla fled detention on March 22 after he was taken to a nearby mosque for prayers.

Related: Binance exec seeks redress over Nigeria detention, demands apology

Despite Anjarwalla escaping the country, Nigeria’s law enforcement authority, the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), is preparing to formally press charges on both executives.

Nigeria’s law enforcement authority, the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), is preparing to charge Gambaryan and Anjarwalla with five counts of money laundering of over $35.4 million on April 4, the local online newspaper Nairametrics reported on April 2.

According to the report, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla are listed as first to third defendants, respectively, with the EFCC planning to arraign Anjarwalla in absentia.

Although the crypto exchange firm, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla are listed as first to third defendants respectively. Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja will reportedly preside over the arraignment of Gambaryan, Anjarwalla and Binance.

Cointelegraph approached Binance for a comment regarding the new charges but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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