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US Lawmakers Meet with Detained Binance Executive in Nigerian Prison

Summary:
US legislators Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.)  visited Tigran Gambaryan in Kuje Prison when they visited Nigeria for talks on counterterrorism. Gambaryan was arrested in Nigeria in February on money laundering charges levied against Binance, which most agree is made up to extort money from the exchange. Nigeria had also detained him on tax evasion charges, but the courts acquitted him of it on 14 June. He was detained alongside another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, when they jointly visited Nigeria four months ago to settle issues the country reported with the exchange. Nigerian officials arrested them both. Anjarwalla managed to escape prison and flee the country. In a video posted on X, Rep. Hill stated, “We’ve asked our embassy to advocate for a

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US legislators Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.)  visited Tigran Gambaryan in Kuje Prison when they visited Nigeria for talks on counterterrorism. Gambaryan was arrested in Nigeria in February on money laundering charges levied against Binance, which most agree is made up to extort money from the exchange.

Nigeria had also detained him on tax evasion charges, but the courts acquitted him of it on 14 June. He was detained alongside another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, when they jointly visited Nigeria four months ago to settle issues the country reported with the exchange. Nigerian officials arrested them both. Anjarwalla managed to escape prison and flee the country.

In a video posted on X, Rep. Hill stated, “We’ve asked our embassy to advocate for a humanitarian release of Tigran because of the horrible conditions of the prison, his innocence, and his health.” He also commented on Gambaryan’s declining health in the post’s caption, “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.”

In the same video, Rep. Houlahan spoke about the conditions they saw Gambaryan in, “We did find pretty difficult conditions that he was under. He was also under clearly a lot of stress.” Gambaryan is held at Kuje Prison, a correctional facility known for housing criminals who have committed some of the most heinous crimes. For instance, it holds terrorists from the Boko Haram terrorist outfit.

Nevertheless, his case is underway, with questionings of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission’s staff occurring over the past two days. Hill made it clear that Binance should deal with Nigeria and not the wrongfully convicted executive. He relayed on his X video, “We want him home and we can let Binance, his employer, deal with the Nigerians.”

Previously, US lawmakers reached out to US President Joe Biden and over 100 ex-prosecutors wrote to the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, demanding for Gambaryan’s release. Hill was one of the lawmakers who wrote the letter addressed to Biden.

Image by Thomas Rüdesheim from Pixabay

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