Binance Executives Held in Custody in Nigerian Capital Amid Probe From Government: Report

Binance Executives Held in Custody in Nigerian Capital Amid Probe From Government: Report

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Two Binance executives are being detained against their will in Abuja, Nigeria, according to a Wired report.

The report says that Tigran Gambaryan, a former US federal agent who now leads the criminal investigations team at Binance and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the crypto exchange’s regional manager for Africa, are being held in the Nigerian capital.

According to tech publication Wired, Nigerian authorities have seized the passports of the two Binance executives. The two are reportedly unaware of any criminal charges leveled against them, per their families’ accounts.

Wired says the two were detained on a visit to Abuja in late February. The visit came at the invitation of the Nigerian government and was allegedly aimed at resolving the dispute between Africa’s most populous country and the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volumes.

According to the report, the two executives “met with Nigerian officials the next day, intending to speak to the government about its order to the country’s telecoms to block access to Binance and other cryptocurrency exchanges, which regulators blamed for devaluing its official currency, the naira, and for enabling “illicit flows” of funds.

The report says that after the first meeting, Gambaryan, a US citizen, and Anjarwalla, a dual British-Kenyan citizen, were moved to a property controlled by Nigeria’s National Security Agency.

A U.S. State Department official and a UK Foreign Office representative have visited Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, respectively.

Binance is cooperating with Nigeria, though it won’t divulge why its two executives are being held in the West African country, according to Wired.

While it is inappropriate for us to comment on the substance of the claims at this time, we can say that we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to bring Nadeem and Tigran back home safely to their families.”

Wired cites Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki Gambaryan, saying that the Nigerian authorities have offered little helpful information regarding her husband.

“There’s no definite answer for anything: how’s he’s doing, what’s going to happen to him, when he’s coming back. And not knowing that is killing me.”

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