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“state-sponsored kidnap” – U.S. Group Urges President Biden to Respond To the detained Binance Officials in Nigeria

"state-sponsored kidnap" - U.S. Chamber Urges President Biden to Respond To the detained Binance Officials in Nigeria

The United States Chamber of Digital Commerce has issued a fervent plea to President Joe Biden, calling for the employment of every available diplomatic measures to secure the immediate release of two Binance officials detained by Nigerian authorities.

The Chamber condemned the detention as a “distressing breach of international law” and urged swift action to rectify what it perceives as a grave injustice.

In a blog entry posted on its website, the U.S. Chamber of Digital Commerce expressed deep concerns over the detention of the Binance officials, describing Nigeria’s actions as a “state-sponsored kidnap” and emphasizing the need for urgent diplomatic intervention. The Chamber underscored the precarious position faced by American businesspeople abroad, particularly those in the cryptocurrency sector, who are vulnerable to arbitrary detention and unfair treatment by foreign governments.

The detention of Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and head of Binance’s criminal investigations team, was highlighted as a glaring example of the dangers posed to American citizens overseas. Gambaryan was reportedly invited to Nigeria under false pretenses and subsequently arrested on February 26, 2024, without any formal charges or clear explanation, aside from his association with Binance.

“This incident demands a robust response from the United States,” declared the U.S. Chamber of Digital Commerce. The Chamber called upon President Biden and the U.S. government to take immediate and decisive action to ensure Gambaryan’s prompt release. The Chamber emphasized that Gambaryan’s detention is not just a legal issue but also a matter of national dignity and the protection of American citizens worldwide.

“We stand in solidarity with Mr. Gambaryan and his family during this trying time and urge swift action to rectify this grave injustice,” the Chamber stated emphatically.

The arrest of the Binance executives came against the backdrop of mounting tensions between the cryptocurrency trading platform and Nigerian authorities. Nigerian law enforcement and financial regulators had previously accused Binance of facilitating illegal money transfers and manipulating the valuation of the Nigerian naira.

The two detained executives, one British and the other American, had traveled to Nigeria to address the regulatory concerns raised against Binance. However, they were apprehended by Nigerian officials, who accused them of engaging in foreign exchange trading malpractices and speculation.

The U.S. Chamber of Digital Commerce condemned Nigeria’s actions as unjust and retaliatory, alleging that the detention of the Binance officials was an attempt to coerce the cryptocurrency platform into paying a hefty fine of $10 billion, which it likened to ransom.

The Chamber’s plea for diplomatic intervention underscores the seriousness of the situation and the urgent need to safeguard the rights and safety of American citizens abroad. It also reflects growing concerns within the cryptocurrency industry about the risks and challenges faced by companies operating in diverse regulatory environments worldwide.

As tensions escalate between Binance and Nigerian authorities, stakeholders are closely monitoring developments and advocating for a swift and equitable resolution to the crisis. The fate of the detained Binance officials remains uncertain, underscoring the need for proactive diplomatic efforts to secure their release and uphold the principles of justice and human rights on the global stage.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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