Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive, stood before a Nigerian court on Monday and denied allegations of money laundering and tax evasion, as part of a wider probe into the cryptocurrency exchange’s dealings in the nation.

Gambaryan, who is being held at Kuje prison in Abuja until further court proceedings, contends he has no significant control over Binance’s operations.

This case has become a focal point in Nigeria’s intensified efforts to combat financial misconduct within the crypto industry and has sparked debate over the judicial treatment of international figures.

Gambaryan’s legal representative, Chukwuka Ikuazom, maintained that his client’s lack of executive authority at Binance absolves him of responsibility for the company’s actions in Nigeria.

However, Judge Emeka Nwite deemed Gambaryan a Binance envoy during his Nigerian visits, under local legislation.

The court has postponed the case to April 19, with a bail hearing on April 18 and a full examination of the charges scheduled for May 2.

The accusations against Gambaryan, alongside another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who has left Nigeria, are part of a broader investigation into Binance’s supposed role in the depreciation of the Nigerian naira and tax evasion.

The Nigerian authorities have previously imposed a US$10 billion penalty on Binance, prompting the suspension of transactions involving the Nigerian currency.

Binance and its ex-CEO Changpeng Zhao have been under international regulatory scrutiny, with Zhao stepping down following a guilty plea to U.S. federal charges.