Thirteen Chinese nationals have been apprehended by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for their alleged involvement in illicit mining operations in the state. On Thursday, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesperson for the commission, made this announcement in a statement released in Ilorin. The arrested individuals, consisting of twelve males and one female, were apprehended on Wednesday within the Government Reserved Area of Ilorin.
Uwujaren provided a list of the suspects, including 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 (53).
According to Uwujaren, the arrests were made based on credible intelligence regarding their activities, which encompassed illegal mining and failure to pay royalties to the Federal Government as required by law. The spokesperson revealed that the arrests were a result of a discreet investigation into the operations of illegal mining in Kwara.
He further disclosed that the illegal mining operators had various sites spread across all sixteen Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state. During questioning, the detained suspects admitted to being employees of a Chinese company called W. Mining Global Service Limited, located in Olayinka, Ifelodun LGA of the state. The company allegedly utilized the illegally-mined crude materials to manufacture marble for local sale within Nigeria.
Investigations also uncovered that some of the suspects working for the company lacked work permits but possessed visit permits from China to Abuja, traveling to Ilorin by road.
It is worth mentioning that the Acting Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, recently expressed concern about the activities of illegal mining operators in different parts of the country, considering it a significant threat to both the local and national economy.
In recent months, the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC has arrested at least eighty illegal operators and seized twenty-four truckloads of assorted minerals. On September 10, 2022, the Command detained a Chinese national named Dang Deng, the Managing Director of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd., for being in possession of twenty-five tons of various crude minerals. On October 19, Deng was subsequently convicted by Justice Mohammed Sani of the Federal High Court in Ilorin.
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