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Chinese bags 5 years for illegal mining in Kwara

Chinese bags 5 years for illegal mining in Kwara

Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced a 29-year-old Chinese national, Gang Deng, to five years imprisonment.

The convict’s offence bordered on illegal mining and possession of crude minerals without lawful authority.

Gang was arrested along Tsaragi Road in Share, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State on Friday, September 9, 2022 by the Ilorin zonal command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was found to be in possession of 25 tonnes of crude minerals suspected to be Lepidolite. Lepidolite is a raw material usually transported to China for production of batteries for vehicles, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.

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It would be recalled that operatives of the EFCC, in collaboration with the Kwara State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on August 30, 2022, arrested 13 suspected illegal miners operating in Kakafu village in Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State.

Mining without licence is a criminal offence under the law. It is an act of economic sabotage, punishable under Section 1 (8) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, which stipulates life imprisonment for offenders.

The convicted Chinese national is the managing director of Sinuo Xinyang Nigeria Ltd. He confessed to the crime and admitted to have been operating without a valid licence.