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Binance CEO Richard Teng Tells Nigerian Government to Release Tigran Gambaryan 

Binance Holdings Ltd. CEO Richard Teng has called out the Nigerian government for detaining Tigran Gambaryan for more than 70 days as a scapegoat. In a blog post, Teng has called for an unconditional release of Gambaryan for the Nigerian detention as he is innocent. 

“To invite a company’s mid-level employees for collaborative policy meetings, only to detain them, has set a dangerous new precedent for all companies worldwide,” Teng noted.

Binance and Nigeria at Impasse 

The Nigerian government is attempting to follow in the footsteps of the United States government, which fined Binance more than $4 billion and sentenced its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, to four months. Most experts have downplayed reports of the Nigerian government requesting $10 billion from Binance as a fine.

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have remained quiet. Furthermore, NFIU ostensibly communicated with Binance using unofficial channels, which resulted in Gambaryan’s detention earlier this year.

However, Teng has clarified that Tigran did not go to Nigeria as a decision-maker, not a negotiator but as a functional expert in financial crime and capacity building in policy discussions. 

What’s at Stake 

The Nigerian government has blamed the rising demand for cryptocurrency assets on the deteriorating state of the national currency. As of this writing, the Nigerian Naira traded around 1,383 for a single US dollar. 

As a control measure, the Nigerian SEC has proposed some regulatory changes, including a blanket ban on persons-to-persons alias P2P transactions involving the Naira.

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