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Binance CEO Criticizes Nigeria's Detention of Executives, Drawing Controversy

The CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has condemned Nigeria's detention of its executives, calling it a dangerous precedent. Richard Teng expressed concern over the detention of Tigran Gambaryan, Binance's head of financial crime compliance, and the subsequent flight of Nadeem Anjarwalla, a regional manager for Africa, amidst tax evasion and money laundering trials.

Binance CEO Criticizes Nigeria's Detention of Executives, Drawing Controversy

Teng revealed that Binance executives were initially invited to Nigeria for collaborative policy meetings but were detained afterward. He criticized the authorities' demands, including the delisting of the naira currency from the platform and detailed information on Nigerian users, citing national security concerns.


Gambaryan's prolonged detention in Nigeria, lasting over two months, prompted Teng to advocate for his release and for continued engagement with Nigerian authorities to address any outstanding issues. Despite Binance's decision to halt naira transactions and trading in March in hopes of resolving concerns, Gambaryan's release did not materialize.

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However, criticism arose following Teng's statement, particularly regarding his portrayal of Gambaryan as a "mid-level employee" with no decision-making authority. AFC commentator Jim Richards questioned this characterization, highlighting Gambaryan's role in negotiations with the Nigerian government and suggesting that such statements may undermine confidence among risk-related functionaries at Binance.


Richards' comments underscore the complexity and sensitivity surrounding the case, with implications for both Binance's reputation and the broader cryptocurrency industry. The dispute reflects broader tensions between crypto platforms and regulatory authorities worldwide, emphasizing the need for transparent communication and diplomatic resolution.



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