US lawmakers visit detained Binance executive, Gambaryan, in Nigerian prison; push for his release - Ripples Nigeria
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US lawmakers visit detained Binance executive, Gambaryan, in Nigerian prison; push for his release

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Two US Members of Congress; Representatives French Hill (Arkansas, Republican) and Chrissy Houlahan (Pennsylvania; Democrat) have visited detained American citizen Tigran Gambaryan at the Kuje Detention facility.

The lawmakers who undertook the visit on June 19th 2024 later posted a video on social media calling for his release.

Hill gave the account of the visit on his X page on Thursday while describing the condition he found the detained executive as deplorable.

In a June 20 post on X, Hill described Gambaryan’s detention as wrongful in a “horrible prison” where he is being denied medical care despite suffering from malaria, double pneumonia, and significant weight loss.

He wrote; “Yesterday, @RepHoulahan and I visited with US citizen Tigran Gambaryan in Kuje Prison in Nigeria. We found him suffering from the conditions there, as he has malaria and double pneumonia, and he reports that he has lost significant weight. Even worse, he’s being denied access to adequate medical attention.

“Although I am pleased that Nigeria dropped tax evasion charges against Tigran on 6/14, it’s my view that he’s being wrongfully detained on charges related to money laundering.

READ ALSO:Panic as Binance executive, Gambaryan slumps in court

“Tigran has devoted his professional life to fighting money laundering and tax evasion, having spent ten years as an IRS Special Agent where he successfully led cyber and financial crime investigations.

Further, at the time of his arrest, he was working as a contract employee at Binance and was instrumental in criminal investigations and compliance in cooperation with Nigerian authorities.

“On 6/4, I joined a letter with@RepMcCormick and 16 other colleagues to @POTUS, @SecBlinken, and @StateSPEHA urging for Tigran’s immediate release. Two days later, over 100 former federal prosecutors and agents wrote to @SecBlinken further urging @StateDept to use all means available to secure his release.

“Tigran must be immediately granted a humanitarian release, the remaining charges dropped, and he must return home to America where he belongs.”

Similarly, Representative Houlahan in a video said “We did find pretty difficult conditions… he was under clearly a lot of stress and his health is not very good.”

She continued that she hopes “we will be able to put the full force of America behind us to make sure that he is returned home safely.”

By: Babajide Okeowo

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