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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that no fewer than 40 suspected illegal coal miners have been apprehended in Enugu State.
Mr Muhammed Dada who is the state Commandant of the NSCDC, while briefing the press on Friday in Enugu, revealed that items recovered from the suspects included pumping machines, diggers, head-pans, shovels, and four Hanvan G7 trucks without registration numbers.
Others are a Toyota Hilux van, two heavy-duty batteries, a substantial amount of coal, and a motorcycle.
The Eastern Updates gathered that Dada revealed that the operation took place on Thursday, August 24, at the base of Ugwuonyeama hill in Enugu.
The commandant described the act as serious economic sabotage, adding that the arrest underlined NSCDC’s role as the lead agency entrusted with safeguarding critical national assets and infrastructure.
‘The NSCDC’s intelligence team, acting on a tip-off, conducted a successful raid leading to the arrest of the 40 suspects involved in illegal coal mining at Ugwuonyeama,’ he said.
Dada noted that the NSCDC would thoroughly investigate the matter and “ensure that those responsible for these activities face the consequences of their actions”.
He also warned individuals engaging in illegal mining activities in the state to stop immediately.
The commandant reiterated NSCDC’s resolve to collaborate with law-abiding citizens, urging residents to support government efforts in curbing illegal activities by providing information that could aid arrests.
‘Those with valid clearance and legitimate mining operation licenses will be treated in accordance with the law.
‘The NSCDC remains resolute in its actions, which underline its commitment to safeguarding the nation’s resources and preserving the integrity of its critical assets,’ he added.