Nigeria Detains Binance’s Key Crypto Crime Investigator, Details Inside

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Two senior executives from cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, have been detained against their will by Nigerian authorities, according to a recent report by Wired. 

Families Of Detained Binance Executives Seek Answers

As previously reported by Bitcoinist, the arrest appears to be related to Nigeria’s broader move to ban cryptocurrency exchanges due to the drastic devaluation of the country’s national currency, the naira. 

The Nigerian government has accused cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance of devaluing its currency and facilitating “illicit flows” of funds. Gambaryan and Anjarwalla arrived in Abuja on February 25 to address the government’s concerns.

While Gambaryan is a US citizen and Anjarwalla holds dual British and Kenyan citizenship, their families have expressed deep concern over the lack of information about their situation. Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki Gambaryan, told Wire:

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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.

According to the report, the executives were taken to a government house run by Nigeria’s National Security Agency after meeting with Nigerian officials. Their passports were seized, and they have been held against their will for two weeks, with Nigerian government guards present during visits from US and UK officials. 

Binance has declined to comment on the accusations or demands made by the Nigerian government for the executives’ release. However, a Binance spokesperson told Wire that they are working with Nigerian authorities to ensure the safe return of Gambaryan and Anjarwalla to their families. The spokesperson emphasized that both individuals have the highest integrity and expressed hope for a swift resolution to the matter.

Anxiety And Frustration Mount

As the detention continues, the families of the detained executives express increasing concern and frustration. Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran Gambaryan’s wife, pleads for support from the US government, highlighting her husband’s contributions throughout his career. 

According to Yuki Gambaryan, her husband has described the experience in detention as “Groundhog Day,” referring to the repetitive and monotonous nature of their confinement. Although Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have been granted access to a television and a balcony, the prolonged detention is taking its toll on their mental well-being. Yuki Gambaryan expressed her concerns, stating: 

I can tell he’s trying to stay positive, but it’s getting to him. He’s getting impatient, he’s feeling hopeless. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never see him again. I’m just begging them to let him go

For Yuki Gambaryan herself, the past two weeks have been the “hardest days of her life.” The anxiety and uncertainty surrounding her husband’s situation have left her emotionally drained, the report notes. Elahe Anjarwalla, Nadeem Anjarwalla’s wife, appeals for his safe return, emphasizing his role as a loving husband and father.

Overall, the arrest of these Binance executives underscores the challenges that cryptocurrency exchanges face in navigating the regulatory landscape, and the potential consequences for individuals caught in the crossfire, as the industry has become increasingly scrutinized in recent years.

It remains to be seen how the situation will develop and how the exchange will handle the case, perhaps reaching a settlement with the Nigerian government as it recently did with regulators in the US. 

The daily chart shows BNB’s price continued uptrend. Source: BNBUSD on TradingView.com

The exchange’s native token Binance Coin (BNB) is trading at $542, up over 3% in the past 24 hours, coupled with a notable 28% uptrend in the past seven days. 

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com



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