Binance ‘deeply disappointed’ about the ongoing detention of an executive in Nigeria

Binance called the decision to send Tigran Gambaryan to the Kuje correctional facility “outrageous”

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CryptoFX/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan pleaded not guilty to charges of tax evasion and money laundering in Nigeria on Monday. 

According to a press release from a family spokesperson for the Gambaryans, the Nigerian court ordered Gambaryan to be remanded at the Kuje correctional facility. In 2022, the Islamic State attacked the facility as part of a jailbreak.

“I am begging the American government to do anything to get Tigran out and I am imploring the Nigerian government to realize that they are holding a completely innocent man. They can still do the right thing and release him whilst they negotiate with the actual decision-makers at Binance for a solution to the issues which they are facing,” Yuki Gambaryan, his wife, said in a statement.

Read more: Binance adds 3 independent members to its board

A Binance spokesperson told Blockworks that the company is “deeply disappointed that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, continues to be detained. Tigran has been dedicated to public service and fighting crime for most of his life. These charges against him are meritless.”

“He should be freed while discussions continue between Binance and Nigerian government officials,” the spokesperson added. The decision to send Gambaryan to the Kuje correctional facility is “outrageous.”

Binance previously told Blockworks that it was working “collaboratively” with the Nigerian government and publicly requested Gambaryan’s release in a blog post last week. 

Gambaryan, the company added, should not be “held responsible while current discussions are ongoing between Binance and Nigerian government officials.”

Gambaryan and another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, were detained in the country in late February as tensions between the country and the company began to build. Anjarwalla later fled the country after escaping detention. 

Nigeria claimed in late February that $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria and said that it was looking to impose a fine.

The charges, and the Binance employee’s pleading, come after a drawn-out court process.

Last week, the Nigerian court adjourned until April 19. At the time, a family spokesperson told Blockworks that the Gambaryans hoped that the government could “sort through some of these administrative inefficiencies.”

Binance ended support for the Nigerian Naira last month as the country detained its two executives. 


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