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30 illegal miners arrested in Anambra

Anambra State government has disclosed that its agency has arrested over 30 suspected illegal miners in some parts of the state. The arrests took place…

Anambra State government has disclosed that its agency has arrested over 30 suspected illegal miners in some parts of the state.

The arrests took place in Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area and Ukpo in Dunukofia Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Soludo had banned all mining activities in Oko and five other communities at the commissioning of the Alex Ekwueme Civic Centre in Oko last Friday.

The Managing Director of Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA Brigade, Comrade Celestine Anere, who led the team, said the state moved swiftly to seal the unapproved sites and arrest the miscreants to save the environment, as the state is losing more lands to erosion as a result of illegal sand mining and other activities.

He noted that the state government would not tolerate any forms of irregularity or approval by any community or stakeholders for any excavation site.

Comrade Anere decried the destructive impacts of the activities of the sand miners on the environment and the newly constructed roads and bridges in the state.

The OCHA Brigade boss revealed that the task force confiscated three tippers, adding that every active mine site in the state must have the “Environmental Impact Assessment” of the Anambra State Ministry of Environment as the government has a well-established procedure for licensing mining activities on the shoreline to ensure that requirements that make for a livable and sustainable built environment are met.

He said the suspects upon documentation will be handed over to appropriate authorities for prosecution.

However, some of the suspects, Chinonso Udo from Nimo and Chizoba Okonkwo from Eziowelle, pleaded guilty and said that they were not aware of the state government’s ban on illegal mining activities in the state while Mr Emeka Kingsley, Ebele Onwuaso and Godswill Ezeolisa denied culpability but narrated that they only heard a noise during the arrest, went to see what was happening only to be arrested.

 

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