• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

US lawmakers again push for release of detained Binance executive

Binance: Court issues arrest warrant on prison medical director over Gambaryan’s health report

…as Gambaryan seeks compensation for prolonged detention in Nigeria

US lamakers have continued their push for the release of Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance executive currently detained at the the Kuje detention facility, and facing trial on charges money laundering charges to the tune of $35 million.

Two members of United States Congress, French Hill and Chrissy Houlahan visited the binance executive in detention and expressed some concerns over his condition and called for his immidiate release.

The Congress members alleged that executive was suffering from malaria and double pneumonia, and has been denied medical attention. They also alleged that Tigran was in wrongful detention on money laundering charges.

Hill, announcing this on his X account. noted that Nigeria had dropped tax evasion charges against Gambaryan but urged the US Secretary General and others in authority to secure his release.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) @RepHoulahan and I visited with US citizen Tigran Gambaryan in Kuje Prison in Nigeria. We found him suffering from the conditions there, as he has malaria and double pneumonia, and he reports that he has lost significant weight. Even worse, he’s being denied access to adequate medical attention.

Read also: US reps visit ‘ailing’ Binance executive in Kuje, demand release

“Although I am pleased that Nigeria dropped tax evasion charges against Tigran on 6/14, it’s my view that he’s being wrongfully detained on charges related to money laundering.

The lawmaker argued that, “Tigran has devoted his professional life to fighting money laundering and tax evasion, having spent ten years as an IRS Special Agent where he successfully led cyber and financial crime investigations.”

He further said that at the time of Gambaryan’s arrest, he was working as a contract employee at Binance and was instrumental in criminal investigations and compliance in cooperation with Nigerian authorities.

The lawmaker recalled that on June 4, he joined a letter with other Congress members, urging for Tigran’s immediate release.

He announced that two days later, over 100 former federal prosecutors and agents wrote to Secretary Blinken further urging State Department to use all means available to secure his release.

“Tigran must be immediately granted a humanitarian release, the remaining charges dropped, and he must return home to America where he belongs”, he wrote.

It would be recalled that some US Lawmakers had requested President Joe Biden expedite the release of Gambarya.

The 12 lawmakers addressed Biden, Secretary Antony Blinken, and Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Roger Carstens, emphasising the need for urgent intervention.

Meanwhile, Gambaryan, has ammended his fundamental human rights motion, he is requesting that the Federal High Court in Abuja mandate the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to pay compensation for his extended detention in Nigeria.

Gambaryan, had in May filed a suit alleging that his detention violated his fundamental human rights. He claims that the ONSA and EFCC’s actions have infringed upon his rights by prolonging his detention and seizing his international travel passport.

He urged the court to declare his detention and passport seizure as violations of his fundamental rights and to restrain the authorities from detaining him further in connection with any investigations into Binance.

Tonye Krukrubo, his lawyer has sought the court’s permission to amend the initial suit. In the amended proposal, Krukrubo is seeking the costs of the action on a full indemnity basis in addition to the initial claims.

The Court will hear the ammnded motion July 9, 2024,

Meanwhile, his colleague, the Court has struck out the fundamental rights suit filed by Nadeem Anjarwalla the Binance Executive who is currently at large.