Binance Top Crypto Crime Investigator and Ex-US Agent Identified as One of Two Detained in Nigeria

Binance Top Crypto Crime Investigator and Ex-US Agent Identified as One of Two Detained in Nigeria

Tigran Gambaryan, a former US federal agent and American citizen, alongside Nadeem Anjarwalla, a Binance executive, have been identified as the individuals detained by Nigerian authorities since February 26, as reported by Wired. This detention follows their arrival in Nigeria to address the government’s concerns regarding cryptocurrency exchanges after telecom companies were directed to block access to certain platforms.

Gambaryan, known for his role in leading significant cryptocurrency investigations during his time with the US Internal Revenue Service, now heads Binance’s criminal investigations team. The circumstances of their detention remain unclear, with little information provided by the Nigerian government regarding any charges they may face.

Their detention is part of Nigeria’s efforts to curb speculation on forex trading, with recent volatility in the naira prompting regulatory action. Despite the lack of official communication, reports suggest that the Nigerian government has sought data from Binance and levied accusations of facilitating suspicious transactions amounting to billions of dollars.

The situation has left Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki, and Anjarwalla’s wife, Elahe, grappling with uncertainty and anxiety. The families have expressed concern over the prolonged detention and the lack of clarity regarding their loved ones’ well-being and legal status.

For Gambaryan, whose investigative prowess contributed significantly to high-profile cryptocurrency cases in the US, including those involving dark web drug markets and child exploitation networks, the experience has been described as surreal and distressing. 

Anjarwalla on  the other hand, is an Oxford- and Stanford-educated government affairs specialist for Binance. He joined the crypto company only a year ago, and his wife described him in a statement as a “middle management employee of Binance with no decision-making authority.” 

“Nadeem is a loving husband and father. He is my best friend,” Elahe Anjarwalla said. “All I want is for Nadeem to be allowed to come back home to us.”

Despite efforts from US and UK diplomatic officials to intervene, both men remain confined, with limited access to privacy and communication.

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