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Binance Executive 'Suffering Immensely' in Nigeria While Authorities Withhold Health Records

The family of Tigran Gambaryan, a senior executive at Binance being held in a Nigerian jail, said he is “​​suffering immensely” as the country’s prison officials refused to release health records despite court orders.

Gambaryan’s deteriorating health condition has become one of the focal points in the ongoing legal battle between Binance and Nigerian authorities.

The family of the American said his health has continued to deteriorate in detention and that he has complained of numbness in his foot as well as back pain. He has had double pneumonia and malaria whilst in prison.

“Each day that Tigran remains detained becomes increasingly difficult for our family and especially for him. He is suffering immensely under the strain of this injustice,” his wife Yuki Gambaryan said in an email statement to Decrypt.

Nigeria clamped down on cryptocurrency exchanges earlier in the year, with its central bank governor singling out Binance for public rebuke over alleged currency manipulation and illicit transactions.

Gambaryan, head of financial crime compliance for Binance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the regional Africa head for Binance, were detained on February 28 after meeting with the country’s officials to settle regulatory disputes.

Anjarwalla has since fled custody and the country, but Gambaryan is still being held.

The charges against him and Binance include allegations of financial misconduct and operating without proper regulatory approval by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The country’s tax office dropped its tax evasion charges against the two Binance officials and will now focus solely on the crypto exchange.

The Gambaryan case has highlighted the intense scrutiny faced by Binance in various jurisdictions, particularly in regions with strict financial regulations.

The Nigerian authorities have been adamant about their stance, maintaining that Gambaryan violated local laws. However, the defense has consistently argued that his detention is unjust and that he is being used as a scapegoat in a broader regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrency operations.

Even Binance CEO Richard Teng has weighed in on the case and the executive’s ongoing detention.

In May he wrote in a blog post, that Gambaryan’s detention “has set a dangerous new precedent for all companies worldwide,” adding that he “is innocent and must be released.”

The legal tussle has seen dramatic developments, including Gambaryan’s failed attempts to secure bail and ongoing courtroom battles over the legitimacy of the charges.

The health concerns surrounding Gambaryan have added a new layer of urgency to the case.

His lawyers informed the court on July 1 that, despite several court orders, the officials of the Kuje prison in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, where Gambaryan is being held, have yet to release his medical records from his visit to the hospital on June 3.

Justice Emeka Nwite, who is hearing the case, has since demanded the prison hand over the records to Gambaryan’s lawyers by July 5.

“It is time for the Nigerian authorities to do the right thing and release my innocent husband,” Yuki Gambaryan, the Binance executive’s wife, told Decrypt in an email. “This situation has gone too far.”

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

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