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BREAKING: 17 CHINESE, 10 NIGERIANS ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL MINING IN OSUN

Osun state Joint Task Force (JTF) has arrested 27 persons, which contain 17 Chinese nationals and 10 locals, including a local traditional chief (Baale), for allegedly engaging in illegal mining in the state. 


The illegal miners were apprehended following a coordinated sting operation around the Ilesa and Ife axis of the State. 



While addressing the issue, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, hinted that no responsible government will allow such illegal activities to be carried out in its state by perpetrators.



Binuyo stated further that aside from the economic leakages, the illegal miners had also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, which is not safe for human consumption and irrigation. 


Binuyo was, however, quick to add that apart from ensuring that those arrested are prosecuted, they will also be made to pay compensation.


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



He added that the miners are not genuine miners and they do not have mining licenses registered with the government. 


“What they claim to have is Exploration Licenses, which does not allow them to mine, the way they are doing. So, we will be prosecuting them and make them pay damages”.


He Reiterated that the Perpetrators, apart from flouting government's COVID-19 Order, by refusing to stay at home, have created an environmental disaster for the state, by releasing harmful substances in waters.



One of the arrested Chinese nationals identified as May Zam, who could speak English a bit, was being interrogated, said she was not aware they were engaging in illegal mining, adding that she worked for a different country and assumed they had genuine mining licenses.


She said, the current company she works for, which she did not mention, has a Nigerian sponsor.


Read Also: TWO CHINESE NATIONALS ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL MINING IN ZAMFARA

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