Binance requests detained executive not be held responsible during ongoing discussions

April 4, 2024
2 min read
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  • Binance has requested that its detained executive in Nigeria,Tigran Gambaryan, be excluded from the ongoing saga between the cryptocurrency exchange and the Nigerian government while discussions are ongoing.
  • According to Binance, Gambaryan has no decision-making authority in the company and "a strict law enforcement professional who is not part of Binance management."
  • This is Gambaryan's fifth week in detention, and the statement from a Binance spokesperson comes after he filed a lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Security Adviser (NSA) for fundamental human rights violations.

Gambaryan joined Binance in 2021 and is the head of the company's Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) team. Binance emphasised his strong compliance portfolio, noting that Gambaryan and his Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) team responded to over 600 information requests from Nigerian authorities years ago. Along with helping to combat crimes, he and his team also facilitated asset seizures and freezes totalling more than $400,000.

This detailed look into Gambaryan's portfolio comes before Binance's request that Gambaryan not be held accountable while discussions with the Nigerian government continue.

In February 2024, two Binance executives were detained in Nigeria due to a crypto crackdown that would significantly impact Nigerians' interactions with the platform. The exchange also went ahead in March 2024 to remove naira pairs on its platform and halt naira transactions, but it didn't say it halted naira transactions for that reason. 

Besides, the Nigerian government requested information on Binance's top 100 users and their transaction history on the platform over the previous six months. 

Additionally, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered Binance to provide the EFCC with detailed information about all Nigerians who trade on its cryptocurrency platform. 

Then, about a week ago, one of the two detained executives, Nadeem Anjarwalla, escaped from the guest house where he and Gambaryan were detained and is believed to have fled the country despite having his passport seized. Meanwhile, Anjawarlla filed a lawsuit against the EFCC for similar reasons as Gambaryan.

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