Two Chinese bag jail term for Illegal mining in Nigeria

The Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State Capital has convicted and sentenced two Chinese:  Duan Ya Hong and Xiao Yi to one year imprisonment for offences bordering on illegal mining and possession of solid minerals without requisite licences.

Penpushing reports that the duo were arraigned on Monday, April 22, 2024 by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) alongside their company, Ebuy Concept Limited on one-count charge bordering on illegal mining

“That you, Ebuy Trading Worldwide Nig. LTD, Duan Ya Hong, Xiao Yi sometime in the Month of February 2024 at Banni, in Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, without lawful authority, purchased minerals to wit; 30 tons of minerals conveyed in a Truck, with Registration Number JJJ 386 XT and thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 1(8)(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 1984”, the count reads.

Penpushing further reports that they pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them, consequently, they were granted bail in the sum of N5million with two sureties each in like sum, and in addition, the court ordered that they be remanded in the custody of the anti-crimes’ agency pending the perfection of their bail conditions. Thereafter, the case was adjourned to Tuesday, May 14, 2024 for trial.

The defendants who were yet to perfect their bail, when the case came up on Tuesday opted to plead guilty to count one of the amended 11-count charge and entered a plea of not guilty to the remaining counts, prompting the court to adjourn till Wednesday for a review of facts and possible conviction.

Penpushing also reports that at the resumed sitting on Wednesday, counsel to the commission, Innocent Mbachie, reviewed the facts of the case and tendered in evidence the extra-judicial statements of the defendants, photographs of the defendants, samples of the minerals, photographs of the truck and the forensic report received from the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency on the analysis of the minerals.

The defendants, represented by I.A Ahmed, raised no objection to the admissibility of the exhibits tendered by the prosecution; hence, they were admitted in evidence by the court.

Penpushing reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a statement by Head, Media and Publicity Dele Oyewale said the judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike delivering judgement held that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and pronounced them guilty as charged.

The judge consequently, sentenced Hong to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of N2million, while Yi on the other hand was sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of N1.5million, and in addition, the court ordered the interim forfeiture of the 30 tons of minerals and the truck conveying same.

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