Written by 9:16 am Featured, Features, Fintech/Cryptocurrency Views: 12

US Lawmakers Demand Release of Detained Binance Executive in Nigeria

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In a recent development, US Representatives French Hill and Chrissy Houhalan have intensified efforts to secure the release of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive and US citizen detained in Nigeria since February. The lawmakers visited Gambaryan at Kuje prison on Wednesday, expressing grave concerns about his health and the conditions of his confinement.

Gambaryan, who faces charges of money laundering and engaging in unlicensed financial activities, has reportedly contracted malaria and double pneumonia during his detention. Rep. Hill took to social media platform X to highlight the detainee’s deteriorating health and lack of adequate medical care.

The case has drawn significant attention from US officials, with sixteen American lawmakers accusing Nigerian authorities of holding Gambaryan hostage. Additionally, a group of former US prosecutors and federal agents have urged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to escalate efforts for Gambaryan’s release.

While Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) recently dropped tax evasion charges against Gambaryan and his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla (who escaped detention in March), Binance remains the sole defendant in that aspect of the case. However, Gambaryan continues to be held due to pending money laundering charges brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In response to his prolonged detention, Gambaryan’s legal team has filed a petition with an Abuja Federal High Court, seeking compensation from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the EFCC.

The situation has also taken a personal toll, with Gambaryan’s wife, Yuri, pleading for his release through a spokesperson: “It is time for the Nigerian authorities to do the right thing and let my innocent husband go.”

As international pressure mounts, the case continues to highlight the complexities of cryptocurrency regulation and the potential risks faced by executives operating in the global digital asset space.

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