US Prosecutors Call for Release of Binance Executives Detained in Nigeria

Months after the arrest of two Binance executives in Nigeria, theUS policy makers have teamed up calling for the officials’ release. The long waging war for the release of the head of financial crimes and compliance at Binance Tigran Gambaryan, the Nigerian court has turned a deaf ear to the request. 

In May, Gambaryan developed a health complication that called for immediate medical attention. During his recent arraignment, Gambaryan collapsed in court and was rushed to a hospital in Abuja.

US Prosecutor Urges White House to Intervene  on Release of  Binance Official Arrested in Nigeria

As Gambaryan’s medical condition continued to deteriorate, the wife urged the court to release her husband on bail. The wife lamented that her husband received poor treatment at Kuje prison. 

She complained that Gambaryan was exposed to harsh conditions in prison affecting his health and mental well being. Mrs Gambaryan added that the prison restricted the defense team from accessing their client in prison.

After failed attempts to release Gambaryan on bail, the Binance team, in partnership with another American prosecutor, penned a letter to the US Department of State. In the letter, over 100 lawyers and prosecutors urged the agency to take strategic action to release the Gambaryan in Nigeria. 

The letter sent to the Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger D. Carstens, and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee requested the Biden administration to take immediate action on the release of the Binance official arrested in the West African country.

The letter stated that Gambaryan’s health and well-being were in danger. Before joining Binance, Gambaryan was a special agent at Internal Revenue Service (IRS) . 

His former colleague described the ailing Binance officials as dedicated individuals in legal and compliance matters. Gambaryan’s former colleagues confirmed that the Binance official was committed to implementing the rule of law. 

US Law Makers Claims Detention of Binance Officials in Nigeria was Unlawful

Having a thriving career in legal matters, Gambaryan addressed several cases in child pornography, terrorism finance, and theft. Gambaryan also worked to dispute the Silk Road public corruption cases. 

The Nigerian government charged Gambaryan for laundering over $35 million and engaging in multiple tax cheats. The prosecutor noted that the charge filed by Nigeria against Gambaryan was false. 

They lamented that the Binance officials were held accountable for the company mistakes. Elsewhere, the Binance team stated that Gambaryan was innocent. The controversial crypto exchange confirmed that mid-level employees should not be responsible for the company’s actions.

After examining the charges filed by the Nigerian authority, the American prosecutors described the Gambaryan accusation as baseless. The prosecutors lamented that Gambaryan’s arrest was a tactic used by Nigerians to exploit the disgraced Binance executive. 

In the letter, the prosecutors claimed that Gambaryan’s arrest was unlawful for an American citizen to be detained in a foreign country. Citing the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act, the prosecutors confirmed that the procedure used to detain Gambaryan was unlawful. 

Binance Calls for Release of Official Arrested in Nigeria

Revisiting the arrest incident, the cohort argued that Gambaryan and his colleague should be transferred to the US Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs for further interrogation. 

The prosecutor urged the White House to take immediate action to ensure the convicted Binance officials in Nigeria were safe. According to the report, Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla officials were arrested in February after being invited by Nigerian officials to discuss matters concerning Binance’s operation in the region. 

The meeting was held at a time when dollar demand outpaced the naira. The devaluation of the naira forced the Nigerian authorities to take corrective measures to restore the stability of the national currency. 

After the meeting, the two were arrested for 14 days without charges to allow the Nigerian authority to investigate Binance’s compliance with the law. Days after the arrest, Anjarwalla escaped prison and fled Nigeria to Kenya. 

Anjarwalla’s mysterious escape from prison forced the Nigerian and Kenya governments to collaborate to arrest and deport the culprit.

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