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No fewer than 13 Chinese nationals have by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly engaging in illegal mining activities in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The anti-graft agency, while disclosing this in a statement on Thursday, by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the 12 male and one female suspects were arrested on July 12, at the Government Reserved Area, Ilorin.

He said their arrest followed “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 Wang (36), Lizli Hui (42), Guo Rong (36), Lizh Xianian (37), Lishow Wu (26), Guo Pan (38), Lia Meiyu (53), Guo Quan (36) Lin Pan (50)

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

He further explained that “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.”

Uwujaren said, “Upon interrogation, the arrested suspects confessed to being workers of a Chinese company known as W. Mining Global Service Limited situated at Olayinka in the 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 permits, but only came with ‘visit permit’ from China to Abuja and travelled by road to Ilorin.”

The EFCC spokesman said the suspects acted contrary to and were liable to be punished under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983, adding that the suspects would be arraigned upon the conclusion of investigations, which had already begun.

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