EFCC nabs 13 Chinese nationals over alleged illegal mining in Kwara

THE Ilorin zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has arrested 13 Chinese nationals for offences bordering on illegal mining activities in Kwara State.

A statement by EFCC Head of Media and Publicity Wilson Uwuajaren, on Thursday, July 13, said the suspects were 12 males and a female.

The alleged offence committed by the Chinese is contrary to, and punishable under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983.

Uwuajaren explained that the 13 suspects were arrested on Wednesday, July 12 at the Government Reserved Area, Ilorin, following credible intelligence about their activities.

The illegal activities listed include illegal mining and non-payment of royalties to the Federal Government as required by law.

“The suspects are Guo Ya Wang (36), Lizli Hui (42), Guo Jian Rong (36), Lizh Shen Xianian (37), Lishow Wu (26), Guo Pan (38), Lia Meiyu (53), Guo Kai Quan (36) Lin Pan (50).

“Others are Ma Jan (38), Wendy Wei Suqin (31), Li Zhinguo Wei (29) and Xie Zhinguo (53).”

The statement further disclosed that investigations have shown that the suspects have different illegal mining sites in almost all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state prior to their arrest.

It added that the suspects, upon interrogation, confessed to being workers of a Chinese company known as W. Mining Global Service Limited situated at Olayinka in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

“It was gathered that the company was using the illegally mined crude to produce marble and sell locally within Nigeria. Findings also revealed that some of the suspects working in the said company were without ‘work permit’, but only came with ‘visit permit’ from China to Abuja and travelled by road to Ilorin,” the statement added.

The suspects are to be arraigned in court upon the conclusion of the ongoing investigations.

In 2020, the Osun State Government announced the arrest of 27 illegal miners, 17 of whom were said to be Chinese nationals and 10 locals, including a local traditional ruler (Baale).






     

     

    The arrest followed a two-part investigative report on unlicensed gold exploration by The ICIR.

    The state said culprits would be prosecuted and  made to pay compensations.

    The ICIR report had exposed how traditional rulers engaged in arbitrary land grab, conniving with illegal gold miners to destroy the ecosystem and natural vegetation in several communities in the south-western state.

    They were arrested after a joint operation around the Ilesa/Ife axis of the state.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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    1 COMMENT

    1. The government and all agencies are aware of the mining exercise in those LGA and even across Nigeria. EFCC will only be prudent by not just making the announcement on the pages of the Newspapers, but also ensure that all investigation is made public and prosecutor well carried out.

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