US pushes for humanitarian release of Binance executive in Nigeria

Two U.S. lawmakers have urged the U.S. embassy in Nigeria to intervene for the release of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive, citing humanitarian reasons due to his deteriorating health.

Gambaryan, an American citizen and head of financial crimes compliance at Binance, has been detained since February on charges related to money laundering. Last week, tax evasion charges against him and another official, who left Nigeria in March, were dropped.

During a visit to Abuja’s Kuje prison on Thursday, Republican French Hill and Democrat Chrissy Houlahan met with Gambaryan. Hill later posted on social media platform X, “We have asked our embassy to advocate for a humanitarian release of Tigran because of the horrible conditions of the prison, his innocence and his health,” alongside Houlahan.

Houlahan noted that during their visit, Gambaryan was enduring difficult conditions and showed signs of significant stress, with poor health evident.

Binance previously disclosed that Gambaryan was suffering from malaria and pneumonia.

Gambaryan, maintaining his innocence, appeared in court on Friday for the ongoing money laundering trial, which has been adjourned to July 1.

Nigeria has accused Binance of exacerbating its currency issues, as cryptocurrency platforms became a preferred choice for trading the Nigerian naira amid chronic dollar shortages and record currency depreciation.

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