US Lawmakers Urge Biden To Secure Release Of Binance Executive On Trial In Nigeria

US Lawmakers Urge Biden To Secure Release Of Binance Executive On Trial In Nigeria

Sixteen members of the United States House of Representatives have petitioned President Joe Biden to intervene in the case of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive, who has been detained in Nigeria since late February.

LEADERSHIP reports that Gambaryan, alongside another top executive of the crypto trading firm, who is on the run, Nadeem Anjarwalla, is facing economic crimes-related charges before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The lawmakers claimed Gambaryan has been “wrongfully detained” and subjected to “excessive and harsh treatment” by the Nigerian authorities.

The appeal was detailed in a letter published by Fox Business correspondent Eleanor Terrett, wherein the lawmakers urged Biden to transfer Gambaryan’s case to the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. This office coordinates U.S. efforts on overseas hostage-related matters.

The petitioners argued that Gambaryan qualifies as a “U.S. citizen wrongfully detained by a foreign government,” and emphasized the urgent need for action due to concerns over his health and well-being.

“On behalf of Mr. Gambaryan, his family, and concerned Americans, we, the undersigned, urgently request and strongly encourage the transfer of his case to the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs,” the Congress members wrote in their letter on Tuesday.

They continued, “Mr. Gambaryan’s health and well-being are in danger, and we fear for his life. Immediate action is essential to ensure his safety and preserve his life. We must act swiftly before it is too late.”

Gambaryan, Binance’s chief of financial compliance, was detained after responding to the Nigerian government’s request for discussions regarding the crypto giant’s operations in the country. The lawmakers allege that the Nigerian government took him hostage and called on the U.S. government to secure his release. “The government of Nigeria took Mr. Gambaryan hostage,” they stated.

The letter also highlighted Gambaryan’s significant contributions as a former IRS agent, including his involvement in seizing $4.725 billion in illicit funds through major cyber investigations. They pointed out his critical role in leading some of the “most prolific cyber investigations.”

This high-profile appeal follows continuous efforts by Gambaryan’s family to seek government assistance. His legal team has previously reported to the Federal High Court that he is “very ill” and in need of urgent medical care. Multiple outlets reported that Gambaryan collapsed during a recent court hearing, leading Justice Emeka Nwite to order his transfer to a hospital. However, his family has stated that he has not yet been moved and is suspected of suffering from malaria and a severe throat infection.

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