The Federal Capital Territory Police Command says 21 illegal miners, including a community leader, 3 Chinese nationals have been arrested over an illegal mining in Azam village, near Nasarawa State.
A statement issued on Tuesday and forwarded to DAILY POST by the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Josephine Adeh said the development was sequel to the decision of heads of the security agencies in the region to curb the menace of kidnapping, banditry and other criminal activities within the FCT and its neighbouring States, including, Kogi, Niger, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau.
According to the statement, the exercise which is code named operation “Safe G-7” was aimed at embarking on a massive raid and cleanup operation in all mapped out hideouts, camps and areas serving as refuges to criminal elements.
The PPRO revealed that the operation “Safe G-7” on Tuesday, day two of the exercise, storm the Azam village upon actionable intelligence and discovered the illegal mining site.
She further stated that the illegal gold miners who had established relationship with bandits and kidnappers in the forest, engaged the security agents in a gun duel prior to their arrest.
According to her, items recovered from the suspects include, refined and unrefined gold, two gold weigh scales, criminal charms, seventeen mobile phones, Four motorcycles, Two dane guns, shovels, cutlasses, two pumping machines, one generator, substances suspected to be Cannabis, and other forms of hard drugs.
The statement reads in part, “The exercise is code named operation “Safe G-7” and is intending to further promote confidence building and take the fight to the miscreants in their hideout at the various boundaries between the FCT and the said contingents states, so as to enhance safety and security within and around the states.
“The continuation of yesterday’s operation in Matte, Kwali area council, to reclaim the village which was recently invaded by suspected bandits, was successfully and immediately followed up with deployments to provide the needed security going forward.
“Following the above, Today Tuesday 4th January 2022, the JTF in compliance with the G-7 mandates on day two of their operation, continued the patrol of villages sharing boundaries with Nassarawa state. The team upon the receipt of actionable intelligence , stormed a camp at Azam village, where an illegal mining site of about 40 minutes walking distance from the said village was discovered.
“The miners who were said to have established a symbiotic relationship with bandits/ Kidnappers engaged the team In a gun duel and were forced to retreat, subsequently over powered by the superior fire power of the JTF and arrested. The team recorded the successful arrest of about 21 illegal miners on the sites including foreign nationals.
“Majority amongst the arrested suspects were from the various bordering states, confessing to have enjoyed unfiltered cooperation with the head of the local community who was immediately taken into custody alongside the arrested suspects”.
The police spokesperson noted that the three male Chinese national suspects arrested in connection to the offense would be officially handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service, with a view of establishing their immigration status in Nigeria.
She added that the two suspects linked with the possession of the drugs will be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA as investigation into the matter begins.
“The Commisioner of Police FCT Command, CP Babaji Sunday psc. while registering the commands unflinching commitment to the crusade against crime and criminality in the state, urges residents to not relent in cooperating with the Police as touching the rendition of prompt and accurate information relevant in supporting the command’s anti-criminality crusade.
“The command implores residents to report all suspicious movements, emergencies or distresses through the following lines: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883”, Adeh added.