13 Chinese arrested near EFCC Kwara office for illegal mining
The EFCC said the illegal mining suspects would be arraigned in court upon the conclusion of the investigation.
This was contained in a statement issued by the spokesman of the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwujaren, in Ilorin on Thursday, July 13, 2023.
The suspects, comprising a female and 12 males, were arrested near the EFCC office located at the Government Reserved Area of Ilorin on Wednesday.
Uwujaren listed their names 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.
Others 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,” the spokesman stated.
Uwujaren added that their arrest was a result of discreet investigations into the activities of illegal mining operators in Kwara.
He 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 a work permit, but came with visit permit from China to Abuja and travelled by road to Ilorin,” Uwujaren added.
This development followed a recent lamentation by the Acting Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, over the activities of illegal mining operators in some parts of the country.
He described the act as a grave threat to the local and national economy.
Reports have it that in recent months, 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.
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