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EFCC arrests two Chinese over alleged illegal mining in Ilorin

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Operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested two Chinese nationals, Yang Chao, 39, and Xiao Jiang, 38, for suspected illegal mining activities.

They were arrested alongside Chidi Joseph Osuji, 48, suspected to be an accomplice in the illegal business, according to a statement by the spokesman of the Commission, Dele Oyewale on Sunday.

Acting on intelligence, the suspects were trailed to their mining sites located at Ogunmakin and Ogere, Ogun State, where they were arrested after days of surveillance.

Preliminary investigations showed that Chao and Chidi are working as factory manager and machine operator, respectively, with Cruis Chemical Nigeria Limited located at Ogunmakin in Ogun State, while Jiang works with John Odiba Multibiz, as an assistant manager in Ogere, Ogun State.

The suspects, who operate as a cartel, allegedly specialise in illegal mining of minerals such as marble stone, white powder, lithium and lepidolite, among others, which they transport outside the country through illegitimate means for private gains.

Investigations also linked the three suspects as owners of the solid minerals being conveyed by the 41 suspects arrested with truck loads of minerals at Share, Banni, Lade, Patigi and Okolowo in Kwara, and Igbeti and Ogbomosho in Oyo, by operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC on February 5, 2024 .

They were arrested for engaging in mining activities without requisite licences.

In another development, the anti-graft agency also arrested the trio of Sallah Asmau Wuraola, Owoduni Abdullahi Isa (a.k.a Bolaji) who are Point of Sale, PoS cashiers, and one Shuaibu Rukayat, a nurse from Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State, for allegedly selling new naira notes of different denominations to customers for commercial purposes.

The arrest of the suspects followed credible intelligence on elements selling new naira notes to people at event centers, night clubs, hotels and parties without due authorization.

Wuraola and Rukayat were caught with the sum of N1,220,000, while Isa was arrested with the sum of N150,000.

The suspects would soon be charged to court, according to the EFCC spokesman.

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