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Detained Binance executives sue Nigeria's security adviser, anti-graft agency - REUTERS

APRIL 01, 2024

ABUJA, March 28 (Reuters) - Two executives from Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, have sued Nigeria's national security adviser's office and the anti-graft agency for violating their fundamental rights and asked the court to set them free.

Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and Binance's head of financial crime compliance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan who is Binance's regional manager for Africa, flew to Nigeria following the country's decision to ban several cryptocurrency trading websites and were detained on arrival on Feb. 26.

Anjarwalla fled the country last week and now faces the prospect of an international arrest warrant.

On Thursday, Gambaryan appeared in a Federal High Court in the capital Abuja requesting Judge Iyang Ekwo declare his detention and seizure of his passport by the National Security Adviser and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) "amounts to a violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty" as guaranteed by Nigeria's constitution.

The executives, who said they had not been informed of any offences committed, requested an order to release them and return their passports, a public apology and a restraining order from further detention.

The judge adjourned the hearing to April 8 without making a ruling because lawyers for the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the EFCC were not in court.

Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were caught up in a crackdown following a period during which several cryptocurrency websites emerged as platforms of choice for trading the Nigerian currency, as the country battles a chronic dollar shortages.


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