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US Demands Release of Binance Executive Detained in Nigeria: Can Biden Help?

A group of US politicians has called on President Joe Biden to step in regarding the case of Figran Gambaryan, the head of financial crime compliance at Binance, who’s been held in Nigeria for over three months on charges of money laundering and tax evasion.

A letter submitted to President Biden on June 4 articulated the demand for his release.

Appealing for Help

The letter, signed by over 12 US politicians and shared on X by journalist Eleanor Terrett, asserts that Gambaryan, who is also a former federal agent, is being wrongfully detained. The politicians have urged the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to take immediate action. They accuse Nigerian authorities of using coercion tactics to extort Binance and express concerns about Gambaryan’s deteriorating health. 

Understanding the Accusations       

Gambaryan went to Nigeria on February 26th at the invitation of the government to address compliance issues at Binance. But upon arrival, he was detained and is now held in Kuje Prison, known for its tough conditions. There are allegations of mistreatment, like ignoring a court order to move him to a private hospital for malaria treatment. Also, Gambaryan can only talk to his lawyers in the presence of Nigerian armed guards.

Similar Cases Under Review

Another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, facing similar charges, left Nigeria in March. The Nigerian government calls the case a national security matter, asking for the removal of the naira currency from Binance’s platform and detailed info on all Nigerian users.

Binance CEO Richard Teng has accused unnamed Nigerian officials of asking for a $150 million cryptocurrency bribe to stop investigations, which Nigerian authorities deny. Rabiu Ibrahim, spokesperson for the Nigerian Information Ministry, says these claims are baseless and accuses Binance of trying to interfere with legal processes.

The Complex Nigeria Situations

Despite these issues, Nigeria remains somewhat significant in the crypto investment world, with around $2.5 million raised from the country since last June. Gambaryan’s ongoing detention highlights the tricky relationship between rules and Nigeria’s growing crypto market.

The call from US politicians to President Biden stresses the seriousness of Tigran Gambaryan’s detention in Nigeria. This case raises concerns about rights and laws, reflecting broader tensions between authorities and crypto platforms. Effective diplomatic action is crucial to resolve this and ensure fairness for everyone involved.

The human cost of crypto regulations – what’s your take?

Also Read: Binance To List 50 New Crypto Trading Pairs for Spot Copy Trading

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