Binance Execs Detained in Nigerian Capital

In recent news, it has been reported that two senior executives from Binance, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, are currently being detained in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. Tigran Gambaryan, a former US federal agent with expertise in cryptocurrencies, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, have been held in Abuja without passports for two weeks. They have been detained at a government property since February 26, and their families claim that no information has been provided regarding any criminal charges they may be facing.

A spokesperson for Binance confirmed the detention of Gambaryan and Anjarwalla and stated that the exchange is working closely with Nigerian authorities to ensure their safe return to their families. They emphasized the professionalism and integrity of both executives and expressed confidence in a swift resolution to the matter.

Reports of the arrests first surfaced in late February, with Gambaryan and Anjarwalla arriving in Abuja on February 25 following an invitation from the Nigerian government. The purpose of their visit was to address the ongoing dispute between Binance and the government regarding the alleged unlawful operations of the exchange in Nigeria. The government accused crypto exchanges of devaluing Nigeria’s official currency, the naira, and facilitating illicit financial activities.

Instead of reaching a resolution, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were taken to their hotels after their meeting with Nigerian officials and later brought to a government-run guesthouse operated by Nigeria’s National Security Agency. Since then, their passports have been confiscated, and they have been held against their will.

During their detention, Gambaryan was visited by a US State Department official, while Anjarwalla met with a representative from the UK Foreign Office. Nigerian government guards were present during these meetings, preventing them from having private conversations.

It is worth noting that Binance officially announced its decision to exit Nigeria on March 5, just a few days before the arrests of Gambaryan and Anjarwalla. The exchange has already implemented several measures as part of its exit roadmap, such as the suspension of Nigerian Naira withdrawals and the removal of trading pairs involving the naira.

The situation surrounding the detention of these two Binance executives remains unclear, and their families are eagerly awaiting updates on their well-being and the resolution of the matter.

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