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Regulating | “Tigran Gambaryan Arrested Unlawfully in Nigeria on Money Laundering Accusations,” US Lawmakers Restate Following Visit

Tigran Gambaryan, the executive of Binance, is being held due to pneumonia and malaria. Two US legislators have demanded that he be released from custody and given access to medical care. Reps. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., and French Hill, R-Ark., said that they visited Gambaryan this week. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen, with money laundering after he was arrested in February 2024.

“I visited with US citizen Tigran Gambaryan in Kuje Prison in Nigeria yesterday with @RepHoulahan,” Hill said on X.

“We discovered him afflicted with double pneumonia and malaria, and he claims to have lost a substantial amount of weight. To make matters worse, he isn’t getting enough medical care.

Hill claims that Gambaryan has worked for the US government for ten years, during which time he served as an Internal Revenue Service Special Agent, specializing in the fight against tax evasion and money laundering.

Hill declared, “Tigran must be given a humanitarian release right away, the remaining charges must be dropped, and he must go back to America, where he belongs.”

After the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) asserted that Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla had neglected to pay taxes on cryptocurrency transactions totaling billions of Naira, the two were formally charged with tax evasion in March 2024. The cryptocurrency exchange was charged with neglecting to file tax filings and failing to pay corporation and value-added taxes. Gambaryan and his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla are no longer facing tax evasion allegations from the Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), but the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is still pursuing money laundering charges against them.

“I believe that Tigran is being wrongfully detained on charges related to money laundering, even though I am happy that Nigeria dropped tax evasion charges against him on June 14,” Hill said.

Hill was one of sixteen US congressmen who, in a letter to their president earlier in June 2024, called the accusations unfounded.

The legislators pointed out that Mr. Gambaryan qualifies as a U.S. citizen who was “wrongfully detained by a foreign government” and that the accusations against him are “baseless and constitute a coercion tactic by the Nigerian government to extort his employer, Binance” in a letter to Biden dated June 4, 2024.

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