Two US lawmakers, French Hill and Chrissy Houlahan, have called for the immediate release of Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan. They visited him in Kuje prison on Wednesday and demanded that all charges against him be dropped.

U.S. pressure mounts on Nigeria over Binance executive's detention - Pluboard

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Gambaryan, an American citizen, has been in detention since February. He is accused of money laundering and conducting unlicensed financial activities. Recently, Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) dropped tax evasion charges against Gambaryan and his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla. Anjarwalla escaped detention in March, leaving Binance as the only defendant.

Hill reported on X that Gambaryan is suffering from malaria and double pneumonia, has lost significant weight, and is not receiving adequate medical care.

The call for Gambaryan’s release has increased political pressure around his trial in Nigeria. Sixteen American lawmakers have accused Nigerian authorities of holding Gambaryan hostage. On June 6, Axios reported that a group of former US prosecutors and federal agents wrote to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, urging him to intensify efforts to secure Gambaryan’s release.

Despite the dropped tax evasion charges, Gambaryan remains in custody due to pending money laundering charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The court has yet to deliver a ruling on these charges.

Gambaryan’s lawyers have petitioned an Abuja Federal High Court, seeking compensation from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the EFCC for his prolonged detention.

Gambaryan’s wife, Yuri, expressed her distress through her spokesperson, saying, “It is time for the Nigerian authorities to do the right thing and let my innocent husband go.”

 

 

Victoria Ibiama