Binance CEO says Nigeria ‘unlawfully detained’ Tigran Gambaryan

Main Points on Bitcoin, Web3, Ethereum, and Cryptocurrency:

  • Binance CEO Richard Teng criticizes Nigerian government for detention of employees
  • Employees detained following meetings on crypto regulations in Nigeria
  • Binance executives faced demands for payment to settle allegations
  • Refusal to make payment led to immediate departure from Nigeria
  • Gambaryan remains in custody awaiting trial

Detention of Binance Employees Criticized by CEO

In a public statement on May 7, Binance CEO Richard Teng criticized the Nigerian government for setting a “dangerous new precedent” by unlawfully detaining two mid-level employees following their meetings on crypto regulations in Nigeria. Teng expressed concern over the lack of transparency in the allegations made against Binance by Nigerian authorities and emphasized the need for fair treatment of the detained employees.

Unlawful Demands for Payment and Immediate Departure

During their visit to Nigeria, Binance executives were approached by unknown individuals demanding a significant payment in cryptocurrency to settle allegations. Despite the pressure to make the payment, Binance’s team decided to leave Nigeria immediately, refusing to comply with the demands. The refusal to make the payment led to the halt of naira and peer-to-peer services on Binance in Nigeria.

Gambaryan’s Ongoing Legal Battle

Following his arrest in Nigeria, Tigran Gambaryan, an American citizen, remains in custody awaiting trial scheduled on May 17. Reports surfaced indicating that Nigerian security forces identified and arrested a Binance representative in Kenya at the request of the Nigerian Bureau of Interpol. The situation highlights the legal challenges faced by cryptocurrency exchanges operating in different jurisdictions.

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