Binance: US lawmakers petition Biden, call for Nigeria to return Gambaryan


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Sixteen members of the United States House of Representatives, have petitioned President Joe Biden, urging him to intervene, as they demand the return of detained Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, to the United States from Nigeria.

He was arrested by the Federal Government in February. Gambaryan was initially held at a guest house before formal charges were brought against him and Binance in an Abuja court in April. He was accused, alongside the company, of charges including non-payment of value-added tax and corporate income tax, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

“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 Tuesday letter, as published by Fox Business correspondent Eleanor Terrett on her X handle on Wednesday.

According to the lawmakers, Gambaryan qualified as a “U.S. citizen wrongfully detained by a foreign government,” and his detention has been “marked by excessive and harsh treatment.”

The development reveals that the U.S. office coordinates efforts on overseas hostage-related matters.

“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,” wrote the group of House lawmakers, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas.

They reiterated that Gambaryan, Binance’s chief of financial compliance, had been “wrongfully detained” since late February after granting the Nigerian government’s request for discussions regarding the crypto giant’s business in the country.

The lawmakers said “the government of Nigeria took Mr. Gambaryan hostage” and thus needs his government’s help to be freed.

They highlighted his work as a former IRS agent who helped lead some of the country’s “most prolific cyber investigations,” including the seizure of $4.725 billion in illicit funds.

The House members’ letter to the President’s office marks the most high-profile move concerning Gambaryan’s case, and marks a significant development, following his family’s continued appeals to the government for help.

The law firm handling Gambaryan’s case previously wrote in a letter to the Nigerian Federal High Court that their client was “very ill” and required immediate and comprehensive medical attention.

Multiple outlets reported that Gambaryan collapsed during a hearing of the case, in which the compliance officer was accused of involvement in Binance’s violations of Nigerian law.

Justice Emeka Nwite ordered Gambaryan’s transfer to a hospital, but his family said late last month, that he had not been moved to a hospital.

They also revealed that the Binance executive was suspected of having malaria and a severe throat infection.

A spokeswoman for Gambaryan’s family was quoted as having told FOX Business, that Gambaryan is now back in prison, following a brief hospital visit, and his health is deteriorating rapidly due to poor treatment.

“It has been 100 days since my husband, Tigran, was taken hostage by the Nigerian government. Despite my relentless efforts to bring him home, the fight has been long and difficult. Today, however, it feels like my plea for help may finally be heard by the US government.,” Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki Gambaryan, said through a spokeswoman. “I do hope more members will show their support for Tigran as well and urge the government to take immediate action to bring an innocent American citizen home to his children.”

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