The US Chamber of Digital Commerce has called on the administration of President Joe Biden to provide diplomatic assistance for the release of two top managers of the largest crypto exchange Binance, held by Nigerian authorities.

American public figures called the detention of Binance compliance manager Tigran Gambaryan and Africa regional manager Nadeem Anjarwalla a violation of international law. The Chamber considers the actions of Nigerian law enforcement officers to be a grave injustice and a “state-sponsored kidnapping.”

The Chamber's statement emphasizes that the arrest sets a dangerous precedent, because of which American businessmen abroad, especially those working with cryptocurrencies, also risk suffering. The detention of Binance's top managers serves the purpose of forcing the exchange to pay a fine of $10 billion issued by local authorities, the Chamber said in an official statement. In early March, Binance refused to pay this money to the Nigerian government and stopped serving local clients:

“US citizen Tigran Ghambaryan was unjustly detained by the Nigerian government. Apparently, he was invited into the country under false pretenses only to be arrested. Without any accusations or clear explanation, except that he now works for Binance.”

Public figures are trying to put pressure on American officials, assuring that what happened in Nigeria is more than just a legal issue: it is a matter of protecting national dignity and American citizens around the world.

Last year, Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Binance was not registered with the regulator and was not authorized to operate in the country. In March, Nigerian authorities demanded that Binance provide all information about large clients and details of their transactions over the past six months.