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Wife of detained Binance executive writes Nigerian govt, seeks husband’s release

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You stopped service of charges on Binance chief, FIRS accuses EFCC

 

Yuki Gambaryan, wife of Tigran Gambaryan, head of financial crime compliance at Binance, has written to the federal government of Nigeria seeking his release.

Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, were detained by the Nigerian authorities on February 28.

Although Nadeem escaped from the custody of the office of the national security adviser (ONSA), both executives, alongside Binance, are expected to be charged by the federal government for tax evasion and money laundering

On March 25, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) filed a criminal charge against Binance for “tax evasion”.

According to the service, the move aims to uphold fiscal responsibility and safeguard the economic integrity of the country.

The lawsuit, designated as suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, is said to “implicate Binance with a four-count tax evasion accusation”.

When the case was called on Thursday, however, Moses Ideho, prosecution counsel, said they were unable to effect service on Gambaryan because they could not access him, forcing the judge to move proceedings to April 19.

But Yuki, in the letter seen by Business Hallmark on Thursday, maintained that her husband is merely an employee, and “does not have authority over Binance’s corporate decisions or policies that might have impacted Nigeria.”

She noted that Tigran “spends his workday investigating and pursuing criminal activity on the platform. His very job is to help governments, like yours, prosecute and prevent illicit activity.”

Her letter in full:

An open letter to the Nigerian Government,

My name is Yuki Gambaryan, and I am pleading with you from the bottom of my heart as the wife of Tigran Gambaryan to please allow my innocent husband to come home.

Tigran is first and foremost an incredible father, loving husband, and supportive friend to everyone who meets him. He has a deep respect for Nigeria and its people, and in fact, he had expressed excitement to me at the prospect of starting to work in your country.

I understand and respect your decision to scrutinize his employer, Binance. I realize that this whole situation has arisen from your commitment to your country and its citizens. However, Tigran is merely an employee. He does not have authority over Binance’s corporate decisions or policies that might have impacted Nigeria. He spends his workday investigating and pursuing criminal activity on the platform. His very job is to help governments, like yours, prosecute and prevent illicit activity. Sadly, any influence he might have had at Binance to help the company leaders understand your position in this disagreement is trapped in that cell with him.

Tigran is globally recognized for his significant contributions in solving crimes involving cryptocurrencies. I know many of his peers, including in Nigeria, would say that Tigran’s continuous efforts not only decrease illicit activity on Binance’s platform but for all cryptocurrencies across the world.

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Tigran and I have two young children. This is the longest their Dad has ever been away from them, and they don’t understand why he hasn’t come home to them. They ask me every day when he will be coming home, and still I cannot give them an answer. This week is going to be especially difficult as it is our youngest’s 5th birthday on Friday. I never imagined Tigran would not be here with us to celebrate it.

Meanwhile, his aging mother spends her days in tears, praying for the safe return of her only son. She raised Tigran almost all on her own. He is her everything, the thought of him being in a country so far away from her and in these circumstances is beyond devastating to her.

A small part of me chips away every day without Tigran by my side. He is the love of my life, and I cannot imagine a life without him. I plead with you from the depths of my heart to release Tigran. Please let our children see their father. Your act of mercy would be eternally appreciated.

Yours Faithfully,
Yuki Gambaryan

 

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