Operatives of the Kwara State Police Command have arrested eight suspected illegal miners and recovered three trailer loads of marble stones in Patigi Local Government Area of the state.
The Spokesperson of the State Command, SP Okasanmi Ajayi, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Ilorin.
Ajayi said the suspects were arrested along the Share, Tsaragi and Patigi areas of the state on October 30.
He said the arrest was made possible following a petition and a letter written to the state Commissioner of Police, Paul Odama.
According to him, the residents of Patigi Local Government Area and Association of Licensed Miners of Kwara State had complained that illegal miners had turned their ancestral lands into a beehive of illegal mining of mineral resources.
The situation, Ajayi noted, had resulted in ecological problems and sabotage to the economy of both the state and the Federal Government.
He said: “Based on this petition, a team of police operatives was dispatched to the area to arrest and if possible, recover and impound any illegally mined minerals in the area.
“The police team swung into action and on October 30 at about 02:00hrs, the suspects were arrested with three trailer loads of suspected marbles illegally mined.
“The suspects are Abdulbagi Sadiq, Isah Amisu, Mohammed Idris, Alhassan Rabiu, Mohammed Abdulbagi, Ibrahim Balarabe, Mohammed Idris and Abubakar Tasiu.
“Exhibits have been recovered to the police headquarters, while the suspects, after interrogation and confessions, have been charged to court.
“The command is stating with all sense of responsibility that economic sabotage and any acts inimical to the health and security of lives and property of citizens would be resisted.
“The CP is therefore advising the good people of Kwara State to cooperate with the police to rid the state of all forms of criminality.”