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Biden Called on to Act in Binance Exec's Nigerian Detention

After 3 months in detention, Gambaryan gets lawmakers' attention.
David C David C Jun 5, 20241 min read
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Biden Called on to Act in Binance Exec's Nigerian Detention

U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to President Biden calling for immediate intervention to secure the release of Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan from detention in Nigeria.

What's the scoop?

  • Hostage Situation and Health Concerns: The letter highlighted Gambaryan's deteriorating health and inadequate medical care during his three-month detention and requested the case be treated as a hostage situation due to "excessive and harsh treatment."
  • Court Developments: Nigerian courts denied Gambaryan bail, citing him as a flight risk. Despite a judge's order for medical treatment, prison compliance has been lacking.
  • Background: Gambaryan and Binance's Africa Regional Manager, Nadeem Anjarwalla, were detained in February on accusations of illegal transactions. Anjarwalla escaped custody in March. Binance has faced challenges and accusations of illegal operations while attempting to comply with Nigeria's digital asset regulations since 2022.

Bankless Take:

Nigeria’s continued refusal stands as nothing less than criminal. While Biden screwed up by vetoing SAB121, he may be able to earn back some good faith from the industry if he takes swift action. Further, the lawmakers’ appeal shows that, while the relationship between the U.S. and Binance may be stressed, at least some understand the dangerous precedent Nigeria is setting, especially by detaining an executive who previously worked for the IRS. Hopefully, Biden acknowledges this and does all he can to bring Tigran home safe and sound.

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David C

Written by David C

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David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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