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Over 100 Former Federal Prosecutors Call for Release of Detained Binance Executive In Nigeria

In the midst of growing tensions, Nigeria remains steadfast in its legal proceedings against Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan, despite mounting pressure from US lawmakers and former officials. Around 100 former federal prosecutors and agents have come together, sending a letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken. 

This letter, which was first reported by Axios, calls for immediate Action TO FREE Gambaryan, highlighting the growing diplomatic strain between the two nations.

The Case Against Gambaryan

Tigran Gambaryan, a former federal agent and current mid-tier employee at Binance, has been detained for approximately three months in Nigeria under severe conditions. 

Gambaryan, along with Binance’s Africa regional manager Nadeem Anjarwalla, was detained on February 26, 2024, following accusations of illegal transaction profits. While Anjarwalla escaped custody in March, Gambaryan faces a $35 million indictment for money laundering and tax violations. This crackdown is part of Nigeria’s broader campaign to curb currency speculation through a ban on cryptocurrency channels.

A Plea for Justice

Recently, more than 100 former federal prosecutors and agents came together to call for the release of Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan. They sent a letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken, highlighting the critical nature of Gambaryan’s detention.

According to the letter spearheaded by former federal prosecutor Katie Haun, Gambaryan’s health is worsening due to a lack of legal and medical assistance. The letter highlights that Kuje Prison, where he is being held, is notorious for housing some of Nigeria’s most dangerous criminals.

The letter highlights Gambaryan’s contributions to significant investigations, including those related to child pornography, national security, and terrorism financing. 

Former colleagues have vouched for his dedication to the rule of law, citing firsthand experiences of his relentless efforts in major crime investigations.

Congressional Involvement

The call for Gambaryan’s release has garnered political attention in the United States. Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (R-TX) and 15 other Members of Congress have signed a letter to President Joe Biden, urging immediate action to repatriate Gambaryan.

Nigeria’s Stance

On the other side, Nigerian authorities maintain that the charges against Gambaryan are legitimate and follow due legal processes. Nigerian Minister of Information Mohammed Idris stated that the trial for illegal cryptocurrency trading, involving Gambaryan and Binance, has adhered to legal procedures. 

He asserted that the evidence supports the prosecution’s case, with the next court hearing set for June 20, 2024.

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