Regional Securities

Foreigners Caught Stealing Trailer Loads of Lithium, other Minerals in Kwara State – EFCC

  • With trustworthy African leaders absent, 220 million helpless Nigerians are now exposed to sacrilegious economic gang rape by predatory foreigners

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command, has made significant strides in combating illegal mining activities, culminating in the arrest of 41 suspects and the impoundment of 12 trucks laden with various solid minerals. The operation, conducted across multiple locations including Patigi, Igbeti, and Ogbomoso in Kwara state, targeted individuals involved in unauthorized mining operations.

Among those apprehended were numerous truck drivers, some of whom implicated foreign nationals and prominent Nigerian figures allegedly connected to the illicit mining enterprise.

Addressing the media in Ilorin, Mr. Michael Nzekwe, the Zonal Commander of EFCC, emphasized the agency’s unwavering commitment to rooting out corruption and dismantling illegal mining syndicates nationwide. He emphasised the severe repercussions of illegal mining, citing its detrimental effects on the environment, socio-economic stability, and national security.

Nzekwe reiterated that such activities not only contravene existing laws but also pose a grave threat to Nigeria’s economic prosperity.

The arrested suspects, including Nura Lawan, Tunde Jimoh, and Sani Umar, among others, will face prosecution under Section 1(8) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, 1983, which prescribes life imprisonment for such offenses.

The impounded trucks, bearing registration numbers such as FG 179 6B and KWM 398 XA, were found to be transporting minerals like marble stone, white powder, lithium, and lepidolite, suspected to be destined for foreign markets, thus depriving the Nigerian economy of vital resources.

Preliminary investigations suggest a pattern of illegal mineral exportation, prompting the EFCC to intensify its efforts in unraveling the full extent of the operation. Nzekwe affirmed that upon the conclusion of ongoing investigations, the suspects will be arraigned in court to face justice.

This latest crackdown follows previous successful operations, including the conviction of a Chinese national and the forfeiture of mineral-laden trucks to the Federal government.

IMAGE: Punch

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