Police arrest, prosecute 18 illegal miners in Zamfara

 

THE Anti Illegal Mining Squad of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested and prosecuted 18 people who were caught engaging in illegal mining in Zamfara State.

Zamfara State Police Public Relations Officer Shehu Mohammed made this known in a statement on Friday in Gusau.

Mohammed said the anti illegal mining team, led by a Superintendent Police Officer Murtala Bello, was assigned by the force headquarters in Abuja to enforce the presidential order banning illegal mining in the state.

“The recent operations conducted by the anti illegal mining team was at Yan Kaura mining site in Maru local government area where villagers from different parts of the state converged and embarked on illegal mining.

“The assigned squad mobilised and successfully dislodged the violators where 18 suspects were arrested,” Mohammed said.

He added that secret investigation was conducted after which all the suspects were charged to court and they were now in prison.

According to him, numerous exhibits were recovered, including; 504 bags of different chemicals used in refining gold; one Lexus Jeep; one Meter Director; one Professional Digital Table Top Scale, and 14 bags of processing sand suspected to be gold.

He said the squad commenced operations in September 2020, raided several illegal mining sites and arrested illegal miners at different locations in the state.

He further said the sites raided included major illegal mining sites at Kwali, Bukkuyum Local Government Area; Daki Takwas, Gummi Local Government Area; as well as Zugu and Wawan Icce in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara.






     

     

    President Muhammadu Buhari had, in March, placed a ‘no fly zone’ and banned all mining activities in Zamfara State.

    Zamfara is one of the major northern states ravaged by banditry, terrorism and other illegalities.

    There have also been reports of an established nexus between banditry and the illegal miners operating in the state.

    The illegal miners have been long accused of informing bandits of the whereabouts of military personnel in the state.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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