The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has successfully apprehended 13 Chinese nationals for engaging in illegal mining activities in Ilorin, Kwara State. The arrests were made following credible intelligence on their operations, which included illegal mining and non-payment of royalties to the Federal Government.
According to Wilson Uwujaren, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, the Ilorin Zonal Command has been actively cracking down on illegal mining, leading to the arrest of over 80 illegal operators and the seizure of 24 truckloads of assorted minerals in the past eight months. The actions of the Chinese nationals are in violation of Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983, and they will face legal consequences.
The 13 suspects, consisting of 12 males and one female, were apprehended on July 12, 2023, at the Government Reserved Area (G.R.A.) in Ilorin. Investigations revealed that they were employees of W. Mining Global Service Limited, a Chinese company located in Olayinka, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. The company was illegally mining crude materials to produce marble for local sales in Nigeria. It was discovered that some of the suspects did not possess the required work permits but had entered the country with visit permits and traveled to Ilorin from Abuja by road.
The ongoing investigations will determine the appropriate charges to be filed against the suspects, who will subsequently be arraigned in court. The EFCC, under the leadership of acting Executive Chairman Abdulkarim Chukkol, has emphasized the severity of illegal mining operations, highlighting the detrimental impact they have on the local and national economies.
The Ilorin Zonal Command has demonstrated its commitment to combating illegal mining, with previous successful operations resulting in the arrest and conviction of individuals involved in similar activities. The EFCC remains steadfast in its determination to tackle corruption and dismantle illegal mining networks throughout the country.