12 US Politicians write Biden to bring back Binance executive from Nigeria  

A total of 12 United States politicians have urged President Biden and the hostage affairs unit to facilitate the release of Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan who is currently been detained by Nigerian authorities on charges of money laundering and tax evasion.  

In a June 4 letter to President Biden, Secretary Anthony Blinken and the Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger D. Carstens the US politicians claimed that Tigran Gambaryan was being wrongfully detained by the Nigerian government and immediate action needs to be taken to prevent a further worsening of the situation.  

The 12 US politicians who are all members of Congress include Rich McCormic, Michael McCaul, Barry Loudermilk, Earl L Buddy Carter, Austin Scot, Randy K Weber Sr, Bill Huizenga, Aumua Ammata Coleman, Ann Wagner, Keith Self, Thomas H Kein jr and French Hill.   

The politicians argued in the letter that the charges against Gambaryan which includes money laundering and tax evasion are baseless and have been done by Nigerian authorities with the motive of extorting Binance.  

They also stressed his deteriorating health issue citing that Gambaryan who is a United States citizen tested positive for malaria and is yet to receive adequate treatment.  

The politicians highlighted in the letter that the treatment of the detained Binance executive by the Nigerian authorities has been quite excessive and harsh citing how he is not allowed to meet with his legal team without the presence of government officials and armed guards.  

Other issues raised in the letter by the US politicians include the state of the Prison in which Tigran Gambaryan was being held in Nigeria. They complained that the Kuje prison where he was held is known for its harsh conditions and has been used to house ISIS combatants in the past.  

The 12 United States politicians who are mostly house members signed the letter that was addressed to the US president, the US secretary of State and the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.  

Tigran Gambaryan who works as Binance’s head of financial crime compliance travelled to Nigeria on February 26 following an invitation by the Nigerian government to address compliance issues. 

He was detained after successive meetings with the Nigerian authorities and his passport was seized.  

Gambaryan was denied bail on May 18 and four days later he did not appear in a scheduled court hearing. The court defense team and prosecutors were unaware of his whereabouts at that moment.  

When he finally appeared in the court the next day his physical appearance reflected a person with a diminished health condition. He could not stand on his own and slumped in the court prompting the court judge to order his medical sojourn in a private hospital.  

Gambaryan’s colleague Nardeem Anjarwalla who was previously detained alongside Gambaryan managed to escape the country to Kenya with a second passport.

The Nigerian government in collaboration with the INTERPOL has made efforts to find and extradite him to Nigeria to face charges.  

What To Know  

  • Tigran Gambaryan’s detention was a result of a spat between the Nigerian authorities and Binance Limited the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Tigran Gambaryan has now spent three months in detention.  
  • The spat between the Nigerian authorities and Binance is part of a wider crackdown by Nigerian authorities on cryptocurrency as a whole claiming that the sector is rife with harmful financial malpractice that affects the country’s local currency.  




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