Seventeen Chinese & nine others including a traditional Chief arrested in Osun State for illegal mining

Seventeen Chinese nationals have been arrested in Osun State for alleged illegal mining actvities

The Chinese were arrested alongside a traditional chief and 9 locals by the Osun Joint Task Force charged with fighting assorted crimes.

They were arrested following a coordinated sting operation around Ilesa and Ife axis of the state.

Speaking on the development, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, said that no responsible government will fold its arms and watch its land being degraded by unauthorised persons.

He noted that aside the economic leakages, the illegal miners had also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, thereby making it unsafe for human consumption and irrigation.

Aside the economic leakages, the illegal miners have also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, thereby making it unsafe for human consumption and irrigation.

“We intend to prosecute them and also make sure they pay compensation.

“As part of the government’s economic reforms, solid mineral is a major sector we are exploring. For these reforms to work, it has become imperative to stop illegal mining and step up enforcement activities. The result is what we are witnessing today.

“These people neither have genuine mining licenses nor are they registered with the government.

“What they claim to have is Exploration Licences; that does not permit them to mine the way they are doing

So, we will prosecute them and make them pay damages.

“Apart from flouting government’s order to stay at home so as to contain the spread of COVID-19, they have created an environmental disaster for us by poisoning our river which is a major public health concern,” he said.So, we will prosecute them and make them pay damages.

“Apart from flouting government’s order to stay at home so as to contain the spread of COVID-19, they have created an environmental disaster for us by poisoning our river which is a major public health concern,” he said.

Earlier, one of those arrested, May Zam, who was the only one that could speak passable English among the Chinese, disclosed that she was not aware they were engaged in illegal mining.

She said she worked for different companies, and she believed they should have mining licences, adding that the current company she works for, which she failed to name, has a Nigerian sponsor.

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