Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Executive in Nigeria

Binance CEO Calls for Release of Detained Executive in Nigeria

The CEO of Binance, Richard Teng, has taken a firm stance on the detention of the exchange’s executive, Tigran Gambaryan, in Nigeria. Teng expressed his belief that Gambaryan’s detention was not only unjust but also set a dangerous precedent for companies worldwide. He emphasized that inviting an employee to collaborative policy meetings only to detain them is unacceptable and sets a troubling standard.

Gambaryan, a US citizen responsible for heading Binance’s financial crime compliance department, was apprehended alongside Nadeem Anjarwalla, the exchange’s regional manager for Africa, upon their arrival in Abuja on February 26. Teng clarified that Gambaryan was not in Nigeria as a decision-maker or negotiator but rather as a specialist in financial crime and policy discussions. Despite his non-threatening role, he was still detained by the Nigerian government.

Teng called out the Nigerian government for using Gambaryan’s detention as a tactic to exert control over Binance. He expressed his concern that detaining an innocent employee and a former US federal agent was a deliberate move to intimidate the exchange. Teng urged Nigeria to release Gambaryan so he could return to his family, emphasizing that Binance has cooperated with law enforcement in Nigeria numerous times in the past.

In his blog post, Teng revealed that Binance had received demands from individuals claiming to represent Nigeria’s House Committee on Financial Crimes. These individuals requested a significant payment in crypto to be made secretly. While Teng did not disclose the exact amount requested, reports from The New York Times stated that a government official in Nigeria had approached Gambaryan seeking a bribe of around $150 million.

Overall, Teng’s strong condemnation of Gambaryan’s unjust detention in Nigeria sheds light on the challenges faced by companies operating in the cryptocurrency space. The call for transparency and fair treatment of employees in foreign jurisdictions underscores the importance of upholding ethical standards in the global business landscape. It remains to be seen how Nigeria will respond to Binance’s plea for the release of Gambaryan and the resolution of this troubling situation.


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