Nigerian police said on Friday that 18 people were arrested and prosecuted for engaging in illegal mining in the northwestern state of Zamfara.
“The recent operations conducted by the anti-illegal mining team was at Yan Kaura mining site in Maru area where villagers from different parts of the state converged and embarked on illegal mining,” said Mohammed Shehu, spokesperson for the state police.
Shehu said the assigned squad mobilized and successfully dislodged the violators where 18 suspects were arrested.
“Discreet investigation was conducted after which all the suspects were charged to court and they are now in prison custody,” said Shehu.
Since September 2020, police operatives have raided several illegal mining sites at different locations in the state and succeeded in arresting many illegal miners, the spokesperson said.
The Nigerian government in March announced a ban on mining and imposed a no-flight zone in Zamfara as part of effort to stop bandit activities in the state.
The government believed that bandits have been using mining activities as cover-up and often invade communities and abduct villagers for ransom.