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Binance Executive Detained in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Overview

ByDayne Lee

Apr 28, 2024

Binance Executive Detained in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Overview

Tigran Gambaryan, a key executive at cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has been detained in Nigeria since February 2023, facing serious allegations. Reports from April 23, 2023, confirm that Gambaryan will continue to be held in Kuje prison, located in Abuja, Nigeria, until a bail hearing scheduled for May 17.

Background of Detention

Gambaryan, along with his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla, traveled to Nigeria to address allegations regarding the manipulation of the Nigerian currency, the naira, by Binance. Shortly after their arrival, both executives were detained by Nigerian authorities amidst claims that Binance was ceasing all transactions in naira.

The situation escalated when Gambaryan appeared in court on April 19, following an initial delay in his court proceedings. He faces charges of tax evasion and money laundering, brought forth by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). A trial has been scheduled for May 2, where Gambaryan has already entered a plea of not guilty.

Anjarwalla’s Escape and Arrest

In a dramatic turn of events, Anjarwalla reportedly escaped Nigerian custody in March, fleeing the country using his Kenyan passport. He holds dual nationality, being both British and Kenyan. Recent reports from April 22 indicate that Anjarwalla was arrested by Kenyan police and may face extradition back to Nigeria to respond to the charges.

The detention of Gambaryan has sparked significant controversy and criticism, particularly concerning the merit of the government’s charges. Binance has publicly stated that Gambaryan held no decision-making authority within the company. In response to his continued detention, Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran’s wife, initiated a petition directed at the U.S. State Department, the EFCC, the Nigerian government, and U.S. President Joe Biden, seeking his release and return to the United States. As of the latest updates, the petition has garnered 3,960 signatures.

Related Cases and Context

This incident occurs amidst broader regulatory scrutiny over Binance’s operations. In a related case in the United States, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is set to be sentenced on April 30 following his guilty plea related to failures in maintaining an adequate Anti-Money Laundering program at the exchange. Zhao faces a potential sentence of up to 10 years.

The detention of Binance executives has highlighted the complex interplay between cryptocurrency operations and international financial regulations. As Gambaryan awaits his bail hearing, the global cryptocurrency community watches closely, recognizing the potential implications for international crypto exchanges and their operations across borders.

This unfolding story not only reflects the ongoing challenges faced by cryptocurrency platforms in navigating global regulations but also underscores the personal risks encountered by those at the forefront of the digital currency revolution.

Featured image credit: Andrés Tapia via DL News

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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