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HomeMetro NewsEFCC arrests 13 Chinese Nationals for Illegal Mining in Kwara State

EFCC arrests 13 Chinese Nationals for Illegal Mining in Kwara State

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The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has successfully detained 13 Chinese nationals on charges related to illegal mining activities in Ilorin, Kwara State.

These offences are in violation of Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983, and carry corresponding penalties, according to a statement by the anti-graft agency.

The arrest of the suspects, consisting of 12 males and one female, took place on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, in the Government Reserved Area (G.R.A) of Ilorin.

The EFCC said its actions were prompted by credible intelligence regarding their involvement in various illicit activities, including illegal mining and failure to pay royalties to the Federal Government, as stipulated by the law.

The individuals apprehended have been identified as 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), Ma Jan (38), Wendy Wei Suqin (31), Li Zhinguo Wei (29), and Xie Zhinguo (53).

Preceding their arrest, a covert investigation into the activities of illegal mining operators in Kwara State uncovered multiple unauthorized mining sites across all 16 Local Government Areas of the state.

During questioning, the suspects confessed to being employees of a Chinese company named W. Mining Global Service Limited, situated in Olayinka, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. It was discovered that the company had been illicitly extracting granite and using it to produce marble for local sale within Nigeria.

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Further findings revealed that some of the suspects were working without valid work permits, having entered Nigeria solely on visitor visas.

The commission stated that upon completion of the ongoing investigations, the suspects will be brought before a court of law to face the charges against them.

It is worth recalling that the Acting Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol expressed concern over the activities of illegal mining operators during a one-day media training for journalists in Kwara State on July 6, 2023. He described these operations as a severe threat to both the local and national economy.

Over the past eight months, the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC has arrested no fewer than 80 illegal operators and seized 24 truckloads of various minerals.

On September 10, 2022, the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC apprehended Dang Deng, a Chinese national and Managing Director of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd, in possession of 25 tons of assorted crude minerals. Deng was subsequently convicted on October 19, 2022, by Justice Mohammed Sani of the Federal High Court in Ilorin.

The EFCC has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to combating corruption and is determined to dismantle the networks of illegal mining operators across the country, sparing no effort in doing so.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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