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11 arrested over illegal mining activities in Kwara

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Eleven persons have been arrested by operatives of Kwara State Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) over-involvement illegal mining activities in the state.

The suspects were identified as Kaka Azare aged 56, Muhammed Dan Azumi aged 30, Abdullahi Adamu aged 35, Abdullahi Muhammed aged 30, Suleiman Babayo aged 20, Muhammed Umar aged 15, Nasiru Abubakar aged 18, Adam Muhammed aged 25, Alh Muhammed aged 25, Nasir Bello aged 25, and Ismail Garba aged 25 were intercepted by the NSCDC  officers at Share in Ifelodun LGA, Kwara state, on their way to Ogun state.

It was learned that the suspects were arrested with three big Trucks fully loaded with raw materials suspected to be Lithium, illegally mined at Patigi in Northern part of the state.

The Spokesman of the command, Ayeni Olasunkanmi who confirmed the development said that the Command is working hard with other relevant agencies to curtail the activities of illegal miners within the state.

“Apart from the pact between the federal ministry of Mines and steel to help fight this menace, the Executive Governor of Kwara state, Mallam Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq has also ordered the NSCDC Kwara Command, to safe the state from the illegal Minning activities.”He said.

In a related development, Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced a 29-year-old Chinese national, Gang Deng, to five years imprisonment.

The convict’s offence bordered on illegal mining and possession of crude minerals without lawful authority.

Gang was arrested along Tsaragi Road in Share, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State on Friday, September 9, 2022 by the Ilorin zonal command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was found to be in possession of 25 tonnes of crude minerals suspected to be Lepidolite. Lepidolite is a raw material usually transported to China for the production of batteries for vehicles, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.

It would be recalled that operatives of the EFCC, in collaboration with the Kwara State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on August 30, 2022, arrested 13 suspected illegal miners operating in Kakafu village in Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State.

Mining without a licence is a criminal offence under the law. It is an act of economic sabotage, punishable under Section 1 (8) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, which stipulates life imprisonment for offenders.

The convicted Chinese national is the managing director of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd. He confessed to the crime and admitted to have been operating without a valid licence.

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