The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has arrested 13 Chinese nationals for allegedly engaging in illegal mining activities in the state.
Mr Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of the commission, disclosed this in a statement in Ilorin on Thursday.
The suspects comprise of a female and 12 male and they were arrested on Wednesday at the Government Reserved Area of Ilorin.
Uwujaren listed the suspects to include: Guo Ya Wang, 36, Lizli Hui, 42, Guo Jian Rong, 36, Lizh Shen Xianian, 37, Lishow Wu, 26, Guo Pan, 38, and Lia Meiyu, 53.
The rest are: Guo Kai Quan, 36, Lin Pan, 50, Ma Jan, 38, Wendy Wei Suqin, 31, Li Zhinguo Wei, 29 and Xie 53.
“This came about following credible intelligence about their activities, which included but were not limited to illegal mining, non-payment of royalties to the Federal Government as required by law,” Uwujaren stated.
He said their arrest was as a result of discreet investigations into the activities of illegal mining operators in Kwara.
The spokesperson revealed that the operators have different illegal mining sites in almost all the 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
“Upon interrogation, the arrested suspects confessed to be workers of a Chinese company known as W. Mining Global Service Limited, situated at Olayinka in Ifelodun LGA of the 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 company were without work permit, but came with visit permit from China to Abuja and traveled by road to Ilorin,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Acting Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, had recently lamented the activities of illegal mining operators in some parts of the country..
He described the act as grave threat to local and national economy.
NAN reports that besides the Chinese, that no fewer than 80 illegal operators have been arrested by EFCC’s Ilorin Zonal Command and 24 truckloads of assorted minerals impounded.
The Command had on Sept. 10, 2022 arrested a Chinese national, Dang Deng, the Managing Director of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd., for being in possession of 25 tons of assorted crude minerals.
He was later convicted on Oct. 19 by Justice Mohammed Sani of the Federal High Court in Ilorin. (NAN)