Nigeria reportedly detained Binance execs after inviting them to discuss issues with crypto

crypto news Nigeria detains Binance

Nigerian officials have reportedly detained a former U.S. federal agent and a regional manager for Africa who both work for Binance.

Nigeria has reportedly detained Binance’s top crypto crime investigator as well as a regional manager shortly after they both arrived in the country following an invitation from Nigerian officials, Wired has learned, citing the detainees’ families.

Tigran Gambaryan, who formerly worked as a U.S. federal agent and joined Binance’s criminal investigations team, and ith Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa based in Kenya, have been detained without any disclosed criminal charges after arriving in Nigeria at the invitation of local authorities. They have been held at a government facility in Abuja for two weeks, their passports confiscated, their families say.

“There’s no definite answer for anything: how’s he’s doing, what’s going to happen to him, when he’s coming back. And not knowing that is killing me.” Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki Gambaryan.

The detention allegedly occurred on Feb. 26, just a day after the two arrived in Nigeria in response to an invitation from the authorities to address ongoing disputes with the exchange. Both Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have reportedly been visited by officials from the U.S. State Department and the U.K. foreign office, respectively, although Nigerian government guards have been present during these meetings, limiting privacy, families added.

Nigerian authorities have intensified scrutiny on crypto platforms amid the country’s economic challenges, including a significant devaluation of the naira and high inflation rates. In a bid to curb currency depreciation, the government previously ordered telecom and internet service providers to restrict access to several crypto exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.

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