CDS Crypto News Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Colleague in Nigeria Amidst Allegations of Illegal Transactions
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Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Colleague in Nigeria Amidst Allegations of Illegal Transactions

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Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Colleague in Nigeria Amidst Allegations of Illegal Transactions

Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Colleague in Nigeria Amidst Allegations of Illegal Transactions

Binance CEO Richard Teng has publicly advocated for the release of his colleague Tigran Gambaryan, who is currently detained in Nigeria. This marks the first time Teng has spoken out regarding the situation, asserting Gambaryan’s innocence and urging for his freedom.

Gambaryan, an American citizen responsible for overseeing financial crime compliance at Binance, was detained alongside Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa regional manager, upon their arrival in Abuja, Nigeria, on February 26. They were accused of Binance profiting from illegal transactions in Nigeria, and criminal charges were filed on February 28. Anjarwalla managed to escape custody on March 22.

In a recent blog post, Teng condemned the actions of the Nigerian authorities, stating that detaining mid-level employees under the guise of collaborative policy meetings sets a dangerous precedent for companies worldwide.

Teng highlighted Gambaryan’s background as a former Special Agent for the U.S. IRS, emphasizing his dedication to combating financial crimes. Gambaryan joined Binance in 2021 to enhance compliance controls and has since collaborated with global law enforcement agencies, facilitating the freezing and seizure of over $2.2 billion in assets, including $285 million in coordination with U.S. agencies such as the FBI, DOJ, and DEA.

Teng clarified that Gambaryan’s role in Nigeria was strictly as a financial crime expert and capacity builder in policy discussions, not as a decision-maker or negotiator for Binance.

Teng revealed details from Gambaryan’s bail hearing on April 25, where a prosecutor from Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicated that Gambaryan was being held as the only tangible entity representing Binance since the company operates virtually.

The Binance CEO emphasized his commitment to collaborating with regulators and enforcement agencies globally. He highlighted efforts to restructure Binance and appoint compliance-focused leadership, like Gambaryan, to enhance the company’s operations significantly.

Regarding Binance’s previous legal issues, including Changpeng Zhao‘s guilty plea in the U.S. for inadequate anti-money laundering measures, Teng reiterated Binance’s commitment to compliance and its willingness to cooperate with authorities.

Teng urged for Gambaryan’s release, stressing the importance of allowing him to reunite with his family. He also pledged to work with Nigerian law enforcement to address any concerns and resolve potential tax issues.

The conflict between Binance and Nigerian authorities dates back to two years ago when Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission issued regulations for digital asset permits. Binance attempted to comply but faced challenges due to unclear requirements and lack of communication from the SEC. The situation escalated in June 2023 when the SEC accused Binance of illegal operations, prompting Binance to suspend soliciting Nigerian investors.

Teng explained that Gambaryan and Anjarwalla traveled to Nigeria for meetings amidst the country’s currency crisis, with many local Binance customers turning to the platform’s peer-to-peer trading to safeguard against the declining naira. Despite assurances of friendly meetings, the two were detained.

In an attempt to address concerns about Binance’s impact on the currency crisis, Teng announced the suspension of Binance’s peer-to-peer product and the trading of all naira pairs on the spot exchange. However, this action did not lead to Gambaryan’s release or further cooperation from Nigerian authorities.

Teng concluded by expressing hope for a swift resolution to the crisis and reiterated the importance of allowing Gambaryan to return home to his family.

FAQs

Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Colleague in Nigeria Amidst Allegations of Illegal Transactions
Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Colleague in Nigeria Amidst Allegations of Illegal Transactions 1

What is Binance?

Binance is a leading global cryptocurrency exchange, allowing users to buy, sell, trade, and stake a wide variety of digital currencies.

Is Binance safe?

Security is a top priority for Binance. They implement various measures to protect user funds, including secure storage, account verification, and two-factor authentication. However, no exchange is completely risk-free.

What is Binance Staking?

Binance Staking allows you to earn rewards by holding certain cryptocurrencies. You essentially lock your crypto for a period to support network operations and receive passive income.

Can I buy NFTs on Binance?

Yes, Binance launched an NFT marketplace where users can buy, sell, and trade non-fungible tokens representing digital art, collectibles, and more.

Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Colleague in Nigeria Amidst Allegations of Illegal Transactions

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