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Biden Administration Urged to Intervene in Detention of Binance Executives

The Biden administration is currently facing significant pressure to assist in the release of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive and former U.S. federal agent, along with another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla.

Both have been detained by the Nigerian government since February 26, 2024, without their passports.

This call for action has been prominently voiced by the U.S. Chamber of Digital Commerce, which expressed its concerns through a blog post on March 15, advocating for swift diplomatic measures to rectify what it deems a grave injustice.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the Chamber pointed out the detention of Gambaryan under dubious conditions as a dire precedent that threatens the safety and legal security of American entrepreneurs abroad, particularly in the cryptocurrency sector.

The Chamber emphasized, “The unwarranted detention of Tigran Gambaryan is more than a legal issue; it is a matter of national dignity and the protection of American citizens worldwide.”

This statement underscores the perceived arbitrariness of Gambaryan’s detention, lacking due process, and posing a significant challenge to the norms of international law and diplomatic relations.

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Nigeria, which receives over $1 billion in U.S. foreign aid annually and is considered an ally of the United States, has yet to provide a clear rationale for the detentions.

The issue first came to light in late February, with the Financial Times reporting on the situation without naming the detained executives specifically.

Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, the latter holding dual citizenship in the United Kingdom and Kenya, traveled to Abuja on February 25 upon an invitation from the Nigerian government.

Their visit aimed to discuss a dispute involving Binance’s alleged illegal operations in the country.

Their discussions with Nigerian officials on February 26 were meant to address the government’s request to telecom providers to block access to Binance and other crypto exchanges, which were blamed for the naira’s devaluation and facilitating illegal fund flows.

However, instead of making progress, both executives were taken to their hotels after the meeting, instructed to pack up, and subsequently moved to a “guesthouse” operated by Nigeria’s National Security Agency, as per their families.

This incident occurred shortly before Binance announced its withdrawal from Nigeria on March 5.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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