The Ondo State government said on Friday that at least 500 illegal miners had been arrested by operatives of Special Mines Surveillance Task Force on Illegal Mining.
A Mine Officer with the state government, Mr. Silas Godwin, who led the operation, told journalists that the suspects were arrested at Popoola Ehinoke community in Ile Oluji/Okeigbo local government area of the state.
He said the task force, comprising officials of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. Nigerian Army, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and police carried out the operation following intelligence on activities of illegal miners.
He said: “We swung into action on receiving the tip- off and we are able to arrest 500 people working without the Ministry of Mines authorisation.
“From the information we got from them now, they said they were prospecting for gold but we will get to verify this.”
Godwin disclosed that the task force would continue their investigations to know those behind the operation and uncover those who engaged them.
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