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Binance In Talks With Nigerian Gov’t To Secure Release Of Detained Executive

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CEO of cryptocurrency trading firm, Binance, Richard Teng, has revealed that the company was actively working with the Federal Government of Nigeria to facilitate the release of Tigran Gambaryan, the Head of Financial Crime Compliance at Binance, from detention.

Gambaryan is currently held by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) as his bail application remains pending, a decision directed by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The arrest stemmed from multiple legal challenges faced by Binance, involving allegations of tax evasion and money laundering brought forth by Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Despite these pressing charges, the cryptocurrency trading platform maintains close communications with Nigerian authorities to resolve these matters.

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Teng disclosed this at the Token2049 Crypto Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“What I can say is we are working very closely with the Nigerian authorities to try to resolve the matter,” said Teng, underscoring the collaborative efforts between Binance and the Nigerian government.

This incident marks a significant first for Binance, as highlighted by Vishal Sacheendran, the company's Head of Regional Markets, in his statement to Reuters: “This was a one-off. It's never happened to us before.”

The backdrop to this unfolding situation began on February 28 when Nigerian officials detained two senior Binance executives. The detainees included Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan and regional manager for Africa, and the American Tigran Gambaryan. Following the arrest, Anjarwalla managed to escape from lawful custody, as confirmed by the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

In response to his detention, Gambaryan initiated legal action against the Federal Government, the ONSA, and the EFCC, seeking an apology through his fundamental rights suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/356/2024. He alleged that his continued detention is being used to pressure Binance, complicating the firm's operations within Nigeria.


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