• News - South East - Imo
  • Updated: April 13, 2024

NSCDC nabs 12 suspects, six tippers over illegal mining in Imo

NSCDC nabs 12 suspects, six tippers over illegal mining in I

The Imo state commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Matthew Ovey, on Saturday, announced the arrest of twelve suspects and the confiscation of six tippers and one truck involved in illegal mining operations.

Ovey disclosed this to newsmen while parading the suspects alongside the trucks at the command state headquarters in Owerri.

He noted that the breakthrough was made following the intelligence gathering of the gallant men of anti-vandal mines and steels and the intelligent department of special intelligence corp of the Commandant General from the National headquarters in Abuja.

He narrated; “For something our gallant men of anti-vandals mines and steels and intelligent department of special intelligence corp of commandant general from Abuja, have been going out on surveillance. To the glory of God, we have met seizures and arrests. Particularly from the period of Easter and this time of Sallah. Little did they know the saboteurs of government that during this period of festivity that we operate most.

“We went to Agbaja an area around Ehime Mbano council area of Imo state, we arrested about six trucks of illegal miners. They tamper with a lot of government installations in the process of excavation of sands. Most of them are illegal miners. They are not registered fully to obtain a license to operate from the federal mines office and when the Minister on solid minerals development, Oladele Aleke, he came and he gave them a month window. He said to them to and ensure you get yourself a license and if you do not have get one for yourself.

“We went to areas of Ohaji/Egbema council area of Imo state, Obokofia community, where we made an arrest of a connecting pipe this pipe is connected directly to the pipe where petroleum products are being flown in. At that point, we could not arrest any of them. However, we leave no stone unturned. It is a matter of time before we arrest them.

“Soon you will see mining marshals in the state because the headquarters have already done that. So we are encouraging illegal miners to go and obtain their licenses. Bankers should better stop because we will stop at no end to get them. We arrested nine persons, with six trucks, with three extra people who parade themselves as tax collectors. For bunkers at Obokofia community, in a similar development we have arrested a short truck, conveying 500,000 litres of adulterated AGO, the driver is cooling his knees in our cell.

“Around Owerri North Council Area of Imo state, we arrested one Toyota Avalon carrying about 800 litres of adulterated petroleum product. Our intelligence department is on it and after that, we charge them to court. So, it will interest you to know we have a series of cases running in court regarding illegal bunkers and miners. More than 25 cases running in court.

Federal mines officer, Idris Omobalaji, said: “The illegal miners did not start today, but some of them are taking of the insecurity we have believing that the security has been overwhelmed and they cannot be tracked. We had meetings with tippers and miners associations of the Imo State chapter. But unfortunately, very few came around and did the right thing that is why we commenced this action.”

Some of the suspects, one Emeka Chimezie and one Anayo Ogbu, blamed poverty, lack of money as well as the difficult economic situation in the country on their involvement in the alleged illegal mining.

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