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Former US agent identified as Binance executive detained in Nigeria


Tigran Gambaryan, an American citizen and former federal agent, is one of two Binance executives held by the Nigerian government since February 26, according to Wired. Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, located in Kenya, is the other executive.

Gambaryan, who heads the Binance criminal investigations team, and a colleague arrived in Nigeria a week after telecom firms were instructed to ban the websites of multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. According to various sources, they were arrested upon arrival in Abuja, and their passports were confiscated. The government has revealed little information concerning their arrests, and it is unknown whether they have been or will be charged in court.

Their arrests are linked to the Nigerian government’s efforts to prevent forex speculation in response to naira price instability. After a decision to remove artificial controls, the naira’s depreciation only accelerated.

Historically, regulators have blamed the plunges on speculators. At one point, it accused Abokifx, a website that provided foreign exchange rates.

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The Central Bank has also targeted Bureau de Change businesses and institutions. Olayemi Cardoso, the CBN boss hired last year, is said to have implemented a number of policy measures to put an end to such speculation.

None of these speculators has received the level of attention that Binance has. In a news briefing following a February monetary policy meeting, Cardoso said that $26 billion in questionable funds had gone through Binance.

It gave the administration justification to make the arrests.

Several stories suggested that the authorities requested data on Binance users, though estimates of a $10 billion fine were eventually rejected.

The worldwide cryptocurrency exchange has responded by stopping all naira trades but has not officially responded to the arrests otherwise.

“There’s no definite answer for anything: how’s he doing, what’s going to happen to him, when he’s coming back?” According to Wired, Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki Gambaryan, said this.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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