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Chinese Nationals Jailed For Illegal Mining In Kwara

Two Chinese nationals have been convicted by a Federal High Court in Kwara State for engaging in illegal mining activities in the state.

Justice Evelyn Anyadike handed down the verdict, sentencing Duan Ya Hong and Xiao Yi to one year imprisonment each, as confirmed by a statement from Dele Oyewale, Head of Media and Publicity.

The duo, along with their company, Ebuy Concept Limited, faced a one-count charge related to illegal mining and possession of solid minerals without the required licenses.

According to the charge, the convicted individuals purchased 30 tons of minerals, transported via a truck with Registration Number JJJ 386 XT, at Banni in Kaiama LGA of the state in February. The offense contravened Section 1(8)(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 1984.

Initially pleading not guilty during their arraignment, the defendants were granted bail in the sum of N5 million each and were remanded in the custody of the EFCC pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions.

During subsequent proceedings, although bail conditions remained unmet, the defendants opted to plead guilty to count one of the amended 11-count charge while maintaining their innocence on the remaining counts.

Representing the EFCC was Innocent Mbachie, while I. A. Ahmed stood for the defendants.

In delivering the judgement, the court found Hong guilty and sentenced him to one-year imprisonment with an option of a N2 million fine, while Yi received a similar sentence with the option of a N1.5 million fine.

Furthermore, the court ordered the interim forfeiture of the 30 tons of minerals and the truck involved in the illegal activity.

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