Lawmakers Push Biden to Help Free Binance Executive in Nigeria

Lawmakers Push Biden to Help Free Binance Executive in Nigeria

Several U.S. lawmakers have called on President Joe Biden to take action to secure the release of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive and former federal agent, who has been detained in Nigeria for over three months. Gambaryan faces charges of money laundering and tax evasion, which the U.S. politicians claim are "baseless" and part of a coercion tactic by Nigerian authorities to extort Binance. The lawmakers have expressed grave concerns about Gambaryan's health, noting that he has tested positive for malaria and has not received adequate treatment.

The letter to Biden, signed by 12 politicians including Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urges immediate intervention by the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. They argue that Gambaryan is being wrongfully detained in Kuje Prison, a facility known for its harsh conditions. Despite a court order for his release on March 12, Gambaryan remains in custody. The Nigerian government had previously requested Gambaryan's visit to discuss Binance’s compliance concerns, but the situation escalated, leading to his detention.

The lawmakers believe that Nigerian authorities are using these charges as a means to extort Binance, which has been working for months to secure Gambaryan's release. The case highlights ongoing tensions between regulatory authorities and cryptocurrency platforms, as well as raising significant legal and human rights concerns. Despite these challenges, Nigeria remains a key player in the crypto investment space.


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