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U.S. Congressmen Call For The Release Of Binance Executive Detained In Nigeria Amid Health Crisis

Congressmen from the United States demand the humanitarian release of Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan, who has been held in Nigeria since February.

TakeAway Points:

  • U.S. lawmakers Chrissy Houlahan and French Hill travelled to Nigerian prison to see Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan and make the case for his release.
  • Without access to proper medical care, Gambaryan, who has been held since February on allegations of money laundering, is afflicted with double pneumonia and malaria.
  • Because of the deplorable conditions in prison and his health, lawmakers are pleading with the U.S. embassy to press for his humanitarian release.

Lawmakers Visit Binance Executive in Prison

U.S. lawmakers Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.) recently visited Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive detained in Nigeria, at Kuje Prison. Gambaryan, who has been held since February on money-laundering charges, is reportedly suffering from severe health issues, including malaria and double pneumonia. 

Hill described the conditions at Kuje Prison as “horrible” and noted that Gambaryan has lost significant weight and is being denied adequate medical attention. Hill emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “We want him home and we can let Binance, his employer, deal with the Nigerians.”

Call for Release

The visit by Hill and Houlahan is part of a broader effort by U.S. politicians and former federal agents to secure Gambaryan’s release. Hill mentioned that a task force in Congress focuses on Americans wrongfully detained abroad, and he believes Gambaryan fits this category. 

Hill has also urged the U.S. embassy to advocate for Gambaryan’s humanitarian release due to the “horrible conditions in the prison, his innocence, and his health.” In a video posted on his X account, Hill reiterated the call for Gambaryan’s immediate release, stating, “Tigran must be immediately granted a humanitarian release, the remaining charges dropped, and he must return home to America, where he belongs.”

Legal Actions and Charges

Gambaryan’s legal troubles in Nigeria continue to escalate. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) resumed its money laundering case against Binance and Gambaryan on June 20. 

During the session, the court permitted the cross-examination of witnesses, including Abdulkabir Abbas, a director with Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Abbas testified that Binance had failed to register with his office before commencing operations in the country. Last year, the Nigerian SEC declared Binance’s operations illegal and urged the public to avoid the platform. 

This development follows a June 14 court ruling that cleared Gambaryan and another Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, of tax evasion charges. Anjarwalla, who was detained alongside Gambaryan, escaped custody on March 22.

Binance Executive’s Health Crisis

Last month, Gambaryan’s family spokesman stated that the man’s health has drastically declined and that a serious throat infection and malaria are being suspected. Gambaryan has not been moved from Kuje jail, where medical conditions are allegedly subpar, to a hospital, despite a May 23 court order from Justice Emeka Nwite.

On May 24, Gambaryan passed out in front of a Nigerian court, underscoring the critical nature of his medical condition. Yuki Gambaryan, his wife, voiced her dismay and sadness at the government’ lack of response to the court decision. 

“Tigran do not deserve such inhumane treatment,” she said. “He has done nothing wrong and is suffering simply because he accepted an invitation to a meeting in Abuja. This has gone too far. I am begging everyone who can help, including our own American government, to recognize that an innocent man’s life is at risk. Please, at least let him go to the hospital so he can recover. But more importantly, let him come home to us.”

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