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Two Detained Binance Executives in Nigeria Identified After Two Weeks

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The two detained Binance executives have now been identified. Two weeks ago, the Nigerian authorities arrested two executives working for Binance because of the devaluation the platform has had on the naira. 

Binance Executives

Identity Of Detained Binance Executives Released

The two executives have been identified as Tigran Gambaryan, who is the head of financial-crime compliance at Binance and previously worked in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan national and Binance’s regional manager for Africa.

Both executives had flown into Nigeria to meet with finance and law enforcement officials in connection with a dispute over Binance’s negative effect on the country’s currency, the naira.

The two were arrested and stripped of their passports without being charged in court for the specific offense they had committed. It would seem this was one of the ways the Nigerian authorities had planned to curb the use of cryptocurrency in the country. The arrest was made when the Nigerian government was looking for a solution for the devalued naira, according to the Financial Times. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  — Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, is the agency in charge of the investigation. They secured a court order from the Abuja High Court to be able to detain them. 

Binance Operated With No Licence In Nigeria 

Binance has been operating without acquiring a license in Nigeria and makes use of brokers, agents, and other freelancers interested in cryptocurrency to lure local investors to invest in its platform. 

Many Nigerian users had rushed to use the Binance platform to preserve their money, and most of them saved their money by converting it to a stablecoin such as USDT.

In a statement, Binance said, “While it is inappropriate for us to comment on the substance of the claims at this time, we can say that we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to bring Nadeem and Tigran back home safely to their families,” 

“They are professionals with the highest integrity and we will provide them with all the support we can. We trust there will be a swift resolution to this matter.”

Families of Detained Binance Executives In Distress

“How is he doing, what will happen to him, and when will he return? No one knows for sure,” said Yuki Gambaryan, Gambaryan’s wife. “And it’s killing me not knowing that.” 

Elahe Anjarwalla, Nadeem’s wife, wrote in a statement that he’s a “middle management employee of Binance with no decision-making authority.” She adds that “Anjarwalla, a Muslim, is being held during Ramadan; our infant son had his first tooth appear in the past two weeks; and our baby will reach his first birthday next week. Nadeem is a loving husband and father. He is my best friend. All I want is for Nadeem to be allowed to come back home to us.”

Conclusion

The Nigerian authorities had accused Binance of being the cause of the devaluation, which resulted in the economic collapse of the country. They also accused the fintech company of operating illegal transactions that brought in a hefty amount of $26 billion,  which were shooting the price of NGN up the roof. The Nigerian government has restricted the citizens from accessing the platform and has banned its operation in Nigeria. 

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

Articles: 195

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