EFCC Arrests 13 Chinese Nationals Over Illegal Mining Activities

Operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrested 13 Chinese nationals over offences bordering on illegal mining activities in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The offence is contrary to, and punishable under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983.

The suspects according to a statement signed by Mr Wilson Uwuajaren, head of Media and Publicity of EFCC made available to Punch correspondent in Ilorin on Thursday comprised of a female and 12 male.

The statement said that they were arrested on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at the Government Reserved Area (GRA), Ilorin, following credible intelligence about their activities which included, but not limited to illegal mining and non-payment of royalties to the Federal Government as required by law.

“The suspects are 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).

“Others are Ma Jan (38), Wendy Wei Suqin (31), Li Zhinguo Wei (29) and Xie Zhinguo (53).

“Prior to their arrest, discrete investigations on the activities of illegal mining operators in Kwara State revealed that the operators have different illegal mining sites in almost all the 16 Local Government Areas of the State.

“Upon interrogation, the arrested suspects confessed to being workers of a Chinese Company known as W. Mining Global Service Limited situated at Olayinka in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara 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 said company were without ‘work permit’, but only came with ‘visit permit’ from China to Abuja and travelled by road to Ilorin,” EFCC said.

The suspects would be arraigned in court upon the conclusion of the on-going investigations.

Recall that, the Acting Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol had on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at a 1-day media training for journalists in Kwara State lamented the activities of illegal mining operators, describing it as a grave threat to local and national economy.

Within the last eight months, no fewer than 80 illegal operators had been arrested by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC and 24 truckloads of assorted minerals impounded.

The Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC had on September 10, 2022, arrested a Chinese National, Dang Deng, managing director of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd, for being in possession of 25 tons of assorted crude minerals and got him convicted on October 19, 2022, before Justice Mohammed Sani of the Federal High Court, Ilorin.

The EFCC had warned that it would be unrelenting in the fight against corruption just as it is leaving no stone unturned in breaking the rings of the illegal mining operators across the country.