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The latest developments regarding the Binance and Nigeria legal battle have taken a new turn following a public statement issued by the exchange platform urging the release of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance employee who remains in Nigeria’s custody. The exchange claims the detained executive is not part of their management board.

In the release, the exchange revealed that Tigran was hired in 2021 to help Binance fix past compliance issues. As the head of Binance’s Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) team, he has been a strong advocate for Binance to develop policies and build compliance capabilities that set new industry standards.

The exchange platform sought to separate Gambaryan’s predicament from the exchange’s broader battle with Nigerian authorities, asserting that he has no decision-making power in the company and should not be held responsible while current discussions are ongoing between Binance and Nigerian government officials.

They further revealed that over the past few years, the detained executive and his Financial Crime Compliance team at Binance have diligently cooperated with Nigerian authorities, responding to a staggering number of over 600 information requests from law enforcement agencies and investigators focusing on matters related to Nigeria.

Moreso, his team has taken proactive steps to educate Nigerian officials on the role of cryptocurrency exchanges within the digital asset ecosystem. These efforts included conducting a three-hour virtual workshop in mid-2023 for 70 officials from the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Late last year, they also organized two comprehensive full-day training sessions, one in Abuja and another in Lagos, each attended by more than 30 EFCC investigators.

According to reports, Nigerian prosecutors plan to arraign Gambaryan as soon as tomorrow, April 4th. Both Gambaryan and his escaped colleague, along with Binance itself, have been charged with tax evasion in the country.

The controversy appears to have its roots in allegations by Nigerian officials that Binance played a role in the collapse of the nation’s local currency, the Naira. As the country’s currency continues to plummet against the United States dollar, falling to as low as around ₦1800 to $1, since the ban on naira to dollar P2P exchange on Binance, there has been positive growth in the naira, as it has improved in price and is currently at ₦1,319.60.

However, many critics argue the Nigerian government is unfairly scapegoating Binance for the nation’s economic woes, attempting to deflect from its own misguided monetary policies by pinning blame on a foreign crypto exchange.

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