• Saturday, April 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Binance wants Nigeria to release detained employee

Binance paused Nigerian trades over price suppression

Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange platform, has said Tigran Gambaryan, the detained ‘employee’ currently held in Nigeria’s custody, is not a member of the company’s management team.

The firm noted that Gambaryan only works as a law enforcement officer and is in no place to make important decisions, hence of no real significance to the country.

“Tigran is a strict law enforcement professional and not part of Binance management. While he has left the official service of the U.S. government, he has remained fully committed to the role of law enforcement officer ever since, operating as a global advocate for good governance and transparent regulatory financial practices.

“Binance respectfully requests that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, is not held responsible while current discussions are ongoing between Binance and Nigerian government officials,” the firm said.

In February, Tigran Gambaryan and his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla were arrested following the clampdown on cryptocurrency operations in Nigeria on suspicion of involvement in fraudulent transactions. However, Nadeem Anjarwalla has escaped, and the country is currently liaising with INTERPOL to extradite him.

Binance further stated that Gambaryan has been employed since 2021 and has been responsible for helping the company with compliance issues.

“In 2022 and 2023, Tigran’s Financial Crime Compliance team assisted global law enforcement in freezing and seizing more than $2.2b worth of assets, including more than $285m in cooperation with United States agencies like the FBI, DOJ, DEA, and others,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will arraign Binance, Gambaryan, and Anjarwalla on Thursday for $35,400,000 money laundering charges.