wo members of the United States Congress, Representatives Chrissy Houlahan and French Hill, recently paid a visit to Tigran Gambaryan who is currently detained in Kuje Prison in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja. Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and former IRS officer, has been incarcerated in Nigeria for the past three months facing ongoing money laundering allegations relating to his work with cryptocurrency exchange Binance. During their prison visit on June 19th, Representatives Houlahan and Hill expressed shock at discovering Gambaryan's declining health condition, stating he had contracted both malaria and double pneumonia—raising concerns about medical standards at the facility. 

Twitter screenshot of Eleanor about Binance Exec
U.S. Representatives Visit Jailed Binance Exec in Nigerian Prison

Nigeria Rejects Mistreatment Claims

In response to claims made by the U.S. lawmakers highlighting Gambaryan's deteriorating health, Nigeria's Information Minister Mohammed Idris spoke out rejecting allegations of mistreatment or unsavoury prison conditions. In a tweet shared on June 21st, the minister declared these claims to be "false and should be ignored." The statement aimed to directly counter statements from Representatives Hill and Houlahan calling for Gambaryan's release on humanitarian grounds following their visit. The Nigerian government maintains it is properly following due process in its ongoing legal case against Binance as it continues investigating whether the crypto exchange conducted unregistered operations in the country. 

X screenshot of Mohammed Idris on Binance Executive
Allegations of Mistreatment Denied

Ongoing Legal Proceedings  

Meanwhile, the case against Binance and Gambaryan is advancing through Nigerian courts. On July 1st, a scheduled hearing will see Abdulkadir Abbas, a director with Nigeria's Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), testify that Binance lacked the proper registration needed to operate legally within the nation's borders. Gambaryan's wife Yuki has appealed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release her detained spouse, citing the recent withdrawal of tax evasion charges by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as setting a precedent. However, Gambaryan remains incarcerated as money laundering allegations proceed through the judicial system. As proceedings move forward, political pressure from US congressional representatives lobbying for Gambaryan's release continues to mount.

Similar Articles

Show More