The Ondo State Security Network also known as Operation Amotekun has announced the arrest of persons involved in illegal gold mining activities in the state.
The suspects, according to the commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, were arrested at different locations in Owo forest reserves on Sunday.
He gave the names of those arrested as Shuaibu Yahaya, Habbi Usman, Kabiru Waheed, Mohammed Nurudeen, Mohammed Sulaman, Ali Mustapha, Ismaila Wahab, Musa Zeehed, Gabbar Musa, Sule Adamu, Abba Suleman, Usman Kabiru, Yahaya Danladi and Usman Ali Zekeri.
The Amotekun official told journalists in Akure, Ondo State, on Sunday that the suspects were arrested while operatives were enforcing the order given by Governor Rotimi Makinde that all illegal occupiers of forests reserved should vacate.
“The arrest took place at a forest reserve in Owo. We discovered the illegal mining locations in the course of our usual exercise”, he said. “We noticed that they have gone far in 50 different locations where they were mining.”
“Nobody would have believed that Ondo state has this quality of gold until we got to the locations where the gold robbers were living and performing illegal mining. Beyond the arrest, the culprits will be prosecuted.”
When questioned about their illegal operations, one of the illegal miners, Mr Shuaibu, who hails from Kebbi State, narrated his journey into the illegal mining world.
“I have been performing the act since 2019. I came looking for a job and I was introduced by one of our leaders who is at large. He brought me to Ondo State for this job because I wanted to make some money.
“After digging very dip, we got the black gold and we separated the sand from the gold with a flat sieve with a rug. The rug will do the separation as we pour the sand on it.
“I am the second-best in getting the gold as it is a very high-quality gold. We only get it out and send back home to our boss (names withheld) who sell them and later pay us.
“The gold in the land is of very high-quality gold. Mostly we get 25 carats, 20 carats sometimes we get 15 carats gold. And we make good money.”
In addition, Mr Adeleye announced the arrest of five suspected armed robbers who were said to be operating along the Benin-Owo road.
“We also nabbed five armed robbery suspects who were operating along Benin -Akure road. And most times, it is early morning they strike. We worked on intelligence and sold a dummy to them and they were traced to Delta State where they were apprehended”, he said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999