How Detained Binance Executive Trained 70 EFCC Operatives, Recovered $400,000 For Nigeria

A popular cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has said one of its detained executives, Tigran Gambaryan, has been helpful to Nigeria in anti-money laundering and global terrorism financing measures.

In a statement on Wednesday, the platform said the American citizen has helped Nigeria to train 70 operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and recover $400,000 for the country.

Ahead of his court appearance on Thursday, Binance said Gambaryan did not deserve his current fate in the hands of the Nigerian government.

Binance, therefore, demanded his immediate release, stressing that his freedom should not be abridged amid the ongoing dust-up with the Nigerian government.

The statement reads: “Tigran Gambaryan, an American citizen, is known globally as someone fully dedicated to law enforcement.

“For a decade, he served as a U.S. federal agent investigating cases involving national security, terrorism financing, identity theft, distribution of child pornography, tax evasion, and bank secrecy act violations.

“As part of the elite cyber investigations team in the U.S. Treasury Department’s IRS Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) unit, Tigran led several multi-billion dollar investigations, including the Silk Road corruption investigations, BTC-e bitcoin exchange, and the Mt. Gox hack.

“He also played a pivotal role in probing Alphabay, Wall Street Marketplace, Welcome2Video, and the high-profile “VIP” Twitter hack, working alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Secret Service. Tigran later assumed the role of the IRS-CI representative at the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF), focusing on national security and terrorism financing.

“Tigran is so well known as the world’s preeminent cyber crimes investigator that a book, Tracer’s in the Dark, was written about his efforts to bring down some of history’s most notorious cyber criminals.

“Given this background, 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. In 2022 and 2023, Tigran’s Financial Crime Compliance team assisted global law enforcement in freezing and seizing more than $2.2B worth of assets, including more than $285M in cooperation with United States Agencies like the FBI, DOJ, DEA, and others.

“In the past several years, he, along with his FCC team, responded to more than 600 information requests coming from Nigerian law enforcement agencies or related to investigations pertinent to Nigeria. The information provided helped tackle crimes ranging from scams and fraud to money laundering, blackmail, kidnapping, and extortion, leading to multiple asset freezes and seizures, totalling more than $400,000 USD.

“Tigran is a strict law enforcement professional and is not part of Binance management. While he has left official service of the U.S. government, he has remained fully committed to the role of law enforcement officer ever since, operating as a global advocate for good governance and transparent regulatory financial practices.

“Binance respectfully requests that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, is not held responsible while current discussions are ongoing between Binance and Nigerian government officials.”

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