About 108 Ex-US prosecutors and Feds demand release of Binance executive in Nigeria

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Over a hundred United States former prosecutors and federal agents have come together to address the United States Department of State to secure the release of Tigran Gambaryan, the head of financial crimes and compliance at Binance, from custody in Nigeria.

The June 6 letter was directly addressed to the Honourable Anthony J Blinken of the US Department of State.

The letter explained that the actions of the United States government on the issue were insufficient and dire consequences loom following further inaction by the government.

“The U.S. government’s efforts to date have been wholly lacking, and the consequences of further inaction are potentially dire,” the June 6 letter read.

The coalition of former government officials stressed Tigran Gambaryan’s many years of service to the US as a former special agent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

They also stressed the complexity and importance of the kind of cases Tigran worked on as a special agent ranging from Child pornography, Identity theft, and Terror Financing to the Silk Road public corruption cases.

The Ex prosecutors and Federal agent argued that Gambaryan is been held in Nigeria on False charges of Tax evasion and Money Laundering.

They also added that he is a Mid-tier staff and does not carry enough clout to represent Binance in court as a stand-in.

“He is completely innocent of these charges and, as a mid-tier employee at Binance, does not hold a role that makes him an appropriate stand-in for the company,” The letter read.

On February 26 Tigran Gambaryan and Nardeem Anjarwalla were invited to Nigerian by Nigerian authorities to discuss important issues bordering on compliance and regulations.

They honored the invitation and traveled to Nigeria where they engaged in several meetings with Nigerian authorities. The meetings turned sour and a spat between the Nigerian authorities and the two executives representing Binance led to the arrest and detention of the two Binance Executives.

Their passports were seized and they were held in a government guest house for days.

Nardeem Anjarwalla, one of the detained Binance executives was able to escape to Kenya with a second passport. The Nigerian authorities in collaboration with INTERPOL are working for his extradition.

Tigran Gambaryan on the other hand was moved to Kuje Prison Abuja after a court appearance and was denied bail on May 18.

The Binance executives are facing charges of Money laundering and Tax evasion and the Nigerian government has doubled down on their position on the issue.

What to Know 

  • Nairametrics earlier reported that 12 United States politicians and Members of Congress wrote US President Joe Biden in a June 4 letter urging him to bring back Binance executive from Nigeria.
  • The Nigerian government has blamed cryptocurrencies for the poor performance of the Naira stressing that Peer to Peer traders were manipulating the local currency.
  • Binance and Kucoin have since delisted Nigeria from its Peer to Peer trading platform following pressure from the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission.

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