BREAKING: Binance calls for release of employee detained by Nigeria

Binance CEO Richard Teng has expressed concern over the detention of Tigran Gambaryan, one of its mid-level employees held in custody by the Nigerian government....READ FULL ARTICLE

In a statement by Binance, Teng said despite numerous efforts at constructive engagement and a willingness to meet the demands of Nigerian authorities, an innocent employee remains detained.

Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen overseeing financial crime compliance at the crypto exchange, and Nadeem Anjarwalla (British-Kenyan citizen) Binance’s Africa regional manager, were detained following their arrival in Abuja, on Feb. 26, 2024.

They were accused of Binance making illegal-transaction profits locally.

Criminal charges were filed against them on Feb. 28, however, Anjarwalla later escaped from custody on March 22.

According to Teng, a meeting was scheduled for February 26, 2024, at 2:00 pm at ONSA’s offices in Abuja, with the National Security Advisor; the Chief Executive of the SEC; and, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) expected to attend.

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He said despite the clear risks, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla received multiple assurances that they would be granted safe passage for their meetings.

“Following the meeting, Tigran and Nadeem were escorted to their hotel, asked to pack their belongings, and moved to the secure compound, which was controlled by ONSA,” Teng said.

“Their mobile phones were confiscated, and it was made clear to them that they were not free to leave. Both Nadeem and Tigran had no control over when and with whom they spoke.

“From this point on, Tigran and Nadeem were under detention. Both the UK High Commission and the US Embassy were alerted in the overnight hours of the detention of Tigran and Nadeem.”

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The Binance CEO stressed that Gambaryan did not go to Nigeria as a decision-maker nor a negotiator, but was merely acting as a functional expert in financial crime and capacity building in policy discussions.

“The message from the Nigerian government is clear: we must detain an innocent, mid-level employee and a former U.S. federal agent, and place him in a dangerous prison in order to control Binance.

“Let Tigran go home to his family, and then Binance will work through the same process that we have done with Nigeria’s law enforcement community voluntarily more than 600 times in the past.

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“We will always work to protect innocent users, and bad actors are not welcome on our platform. We will work tirelessly with public and private partners to remove them.

“Furthermore, we will continue engagement with Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on resolving potential historic tax liabilities.”

Teng added that The Nigerian government has extraordinary power to determine the future of Binance and the broader crypto industry within its borders.

He explained that Binance wants to have a future where they will work alongside the Nigerian government to be part of building a strong economy for the Nigerian people.

He, however, stated the crisis must come to a resolution quickly, and Tigran must be allowed to go home if they are to move forward.…READ FULL ARTICLE

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