Notable pro-crypto pressure groups in Kenya and the United States have demanded the release of Binance executives held by the Nigerian government since Feb. 26.

Last month, two Binance executives—Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla—traveled to Nigeria to address the ongoing issues surrounding the exchange’s operations in the African country.

However, instead of engaging in constructive dialogues, the Nigerian government detained them without access to their passports.

‘State-sponsored kidnapping’

This week, Kenya’s Blockchain Association met with the Nigerian High Commission and expressed displeasure about the continued detention of Anjarwalla, a dual citizen of Kenya and Britain and the regional manager of Binance Kenya.

According to the association, the Nigerian government’s actions raise concerns about the treatment of individuals engaging in constructive dialogue with the authorities. They added:

“The arbitrary detention of Nadeem Anjarwalla and his colleague not only undermines principles of transparency, due process, and respect for human rights but also jeopardizes the advancement of blockchain technology and innovation in our region.”

As such, the association demands his immediate release and safe return to his home country.

Similarly, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a US-based pro-crypto group, urged the US government to ensure the immediate release of Gambaryan, a former special agent of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Binance’s head of financial crime compliance.

According to the group, Gambaryan’s detention “appears to be a state-sponsored kidnapping” and a “flagrant violation of international law.”

Consequently, the group urged the US government to intervene in the case and secure the immediate release of the victims.

Further detention

Meanwhile, the detained Binance executives could face an extended stay in the African nation as the Nigerian authorities are pushing for another two weeks of detention for the crypto executives.

The matter will be brought before a High Court in the nation’s capital, Abuja, for deliberation on April 5.

Since their detention, the Nigerian authorities have not charged the executives with any crime. However, the government recently got approval to get data on all Nigerian Binance users as part of its investigations into the nation’s foreign exchange challenges.


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