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Gambaryan Held on False Charges, Say Former US Agents

Tigran Gambaryan

More than 100 former United States federal prosecutors and agents have signed a letter urging the U.S. Department of State to release Tigran Gambaryan, head of financial crimes and compliance at Binance, from detention in Nigeria.

The June 6 letter directed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “The U.S. government’s efforts to date have been totally lacking; the consequences of further inaction are possibly dire.”

Related: Nigerian Court Denies Bail to Binance’s Tigran Gambaryan

Former government authorities honored Gambaryan’s ten-year service to the country as a Special Agent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“Several of us worked alongside Tigran during these cases and saw his relentless dedication to the rule of law firsthand,” it said, then enumerated the several cases he has previously worked on, ranging from child pornography and terrorism funding to identity theft and even “the Silk Road public corruption cases.”

Gambaryan’s Arrest: False Charges and High Stakes

According to the cohort, Tigran is presently under custody on “false charges” in regard to tax evasion and money laundering; his position at Binance should not see him bearing accountability for the company’s activities.

“He is absolutely innocent of these charges and, as a mid-tier employee at Binance, does not hold a position that makes him an appropriate stand-in for the company,” it said.

Tigran visited Nigeria in January to have conversations with Nigerian regulators on financial compliance alongside other Binance staff members.

Following the conference, Nigerian officials approached them, asking for a “substantial payment” to resolve claimed Binance compliance concerns.

Not sure about their safety, they left the nation right away. Just one month later, Tigran was invited back to the nation, apparently when his “passport was confiscated and he was arrested.

READ:  Nigerian Fintechs Ordered to Halt New Account Creation Amid KYC Audit

Suspected of tax evasion and money laundering, the Nigerian government detained Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla in February. Anjarwalla escaped incarceration and went to Kenya; Gambaryan stayed in the Kuje prison in Abuja, Nigeria.

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