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US Lawmakers Urge State Department to Secure the Release of Binance Executive Detained in Nigeria

US lawmakers have accused Nigeria of wrongfully detaining Tigran Gambaryan, an American staff member of Binance, to extort money from the cryptocurrency exchange. In a letter to President Biden and the State Department, they urged immediate intervention, highlighting concerns for Gambaryan’s health and safety. Gambaryan, arrested in February, faces charges of tax evasion, money laundering, and engaging in unlicensed financial activities. US lawmakers argue these charges are baseless and a tactic to extort Binance. Nigerian authorities, however, insist they are following due process and have a strong case based on gathered evidence. Binance has called for Gambaryan’s release, asserting he lacks decision-making power in the company. The case is part of Nigeria’s broader crackdown on cryptocurrency activities, which they claim undermine the local currency and evade taxes. Gambaryan’s trial continues this month in Abuja, with him currently held in Kuje prison, a maximum security facility in the city.