US Congress Calls For Biden’s Immediate Action In Detained Binance Exec Case

The complex saga between crypto exchange Binance and the Nigerian government has intensified as US congress members have called for the Biden administration’s immediate action.

In a letter addressed to the US president, the lawmakers expressed concern about Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan’s health and urged the government to bring him back from Nigerian imprisonment.

US Lawmakers Urge For Binance Exec Safely Return

On June 4, 16 US congress members signed a letter urging President Biden to intervene in the case of former US federal agent Tigran Gambaryan. The executive has been detained in Nigeria for the past three months, and his current health state has raised alarms among House members.

Nigerian authorities detained Gambaryan on February 26 alongside his colleague Nadeem Anjarwalla, who later escaped. Since then, the executive has been in custody, without access to his passport, and under supervised communication with his legal team and family.

Fragment of Congress’ letter to the Biden Administration. Source: Eleanor Terrett on X

The letter states that Gambaryan’s unlawful detention has been marked by excessive and harsh treatment. It emphasizes that the charges against the executive are “baseless and constitute a coercion tactic by the Nigerian government to extort his employer, Binance.”

In court, the Nigerian authorities have admitted to retaining Gambaryan as their only bargaining card against the crypto exchange. On April 25, the prosecutor stated that since “The 1st defendant [Binance] is operating virtually. The only thing we have to hold on to is this defendant [Tigran].”

Binance’s CEO, Richard Teng, has addressed this in a letter. Teng called out the Nigerian government for trying to set a dangerous precedent for all companies worldwide with its crackdown on Binance’s mid-level employees.

A Call For Action “Before It’s Too Late”

The US lawmakers highlighted Gambaryan’s “impressive and distinguished” background as a federal agent. Additionally, they pointed out the irony of his legacy being acclaimed by the government while the former federal agent fights for his life in a prison cell:

Mr. Gambaryan’s legacy of dedication to justice and the law continued even after he left federal service. On May 3rd of this year, while Tigran fought for his life inside a prison cell designed to hold ISIS combatants, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing a historic seizure, thanking former Special Agent Tigran for his groundbreaking work in the investigation.

In the letter, the congress members painted a worrying picture, explaining that the executive’s life was at risk due to a lack of medical treatment. As reported by Bitcoinist, Gambaryan suffered from a health episode during a court hearing on May 23.

The day prior, the former US federal agent failed to appear in court for the tax evasion case against him, raising concerns about his physical state and whereabouts. However, he showed up to the money laundering charges hearing the next day, where he collapsed and required medical assistance.

Since then, it has been revealed that Gambaryan tested positive for malaria and has been denied adequate medical assistance by the prison officers. Due to his collapse, the court ordered that the executive be sent to a hospital to be treated.

According to the lawmakers’ letter, this request has not been fully complied with, and Gambaryan has not received adequate treatment for the disease. As a result, the House members, including Chairman Michael McCaul, are urging the US government to step forward.

The letter requests Gambaryan’s case to be transferred to the Office of the Special President Envoy for Hostages Affairs. Ultimately, the politicians expressed their fear for the executive’s life and called for immediate action “before it’s too late.”