Detained Binance Exec Sues Nigerian Goverment Over Human Rights Violations – Decrypt

A Binance executive detained in Nigeria has sued the government for violating his fundamental human rights.

According to local publication Punch, Binance’s Head of Financial Crime Compliance Tigran Gambaryan has filed a motion with the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking a declaration that the seizure of his passport contravened Nigeria’s constitution. Gambaryan has also asked that the Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) be compelled to apologize for his detention.

Gambaryan said that he was in Nigeria at the invitation of the ONSA and EFCC to discuss Binance’s activities in the country. He claimed that he had committed no offense during the meeting, and had not been informed in writing about any offense he had personally committed in Nigeria.

“The only reason for his detention is because the government is requesting information from Binance and making demands on the company,” he said.



The executive was detained alongside his colleague, Binance’s regional manager for Africa Nadeem Anjarwalla, in February, as the country’s authorities conducted an investigation into crypto exchanges. Under the terms of a court order, the EFCC was permitted to detain the pair without charges for 14 days, ending in early March; a mid-March hearing subsequently granted an extension.

Earlier this week, Anjarwalla escaped custody and fled the country. The executive, who holds dual British and Kenyan citizenship, had surrendered his British passport to Nigerian authorities but was believed to have used his Kenyan passport to board a flight on a “Middle East airliner.” He reportedly filed a similar suit to that filed by Gambaryan.

Nigeria has demanded as part of the investigation that Binance provide information on its top 100 users in the country, along with their transaction history for the past six months.

The country’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has separately filed charges of tax evasion against the exchange, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla.



Gambaryan, a former IRS special agent, was hired as Binance’s VP of Global Intelligence and Investigations in 2021. At the IRS, he worked on investigations into Russian crypto exchange BTC-e, the 2014 hack of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and the case of a corrupt DEA agent who stole millions in Bitcoin from Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht.

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *