The operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Federal Capital Territory Command confirmed it recovered some firearms from illegal miners arrested at the coast of Nasarawa State.
A statement released by the command on Tuesday noted that at least 21 illegal miners, including a community leader, 3 Chinese nationals were apprehended during a recent clean-up of criminal elements in the axis.
Naija News understands that the miners were caught unaware in Azam village, near Nasarawa.
Items recovered from them reportedly include refined and unrefined gold, two gold weigh scales, criminal charms, seventeen mobile phones, four motorcycles, two Dane guns and some shovels.
Others are cutlasses, two pumping machines, one generator, substances suspected to be Cannabis, and other forms of hard drugs.
Giving further details of the operation, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Josephine Adeh, said the operation was carried out on the directive of the 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.
Adeh explained that 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 said the Azam village invasion was carried out on day two of the exercise.
The police personnel alleged that the illegal gold miners who had established a relationship with bandits and kidnappers in the forest, engaged the security agents in a gun duel upon sighting them at the mining site.
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 overpowered by the superior firepower of the JTF and arrested. The team recorded the successful arrest of about 21 illegal miners on the sites including foreign nationals.
Naija News learnt that majority of the arrested suspects were from the various bordering states.
The suspects reportedly confessed to enjoying unfiltered cooperation with the head of the local community who was immediately taken into custody alongside the arrested suspects.
Adeh in her narration of the operation, further states that the three male Chinese national suspects arrested in connection to the offence 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 an investigation into the matter begins.
The statement added: “The Commissioner 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.
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