Mr Danjuma Elisha, the Commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Imo, on Saturday in Owerri paraded 29 persons arrested for allegedly engaging in illegal mining activities in various locations.
He said that the suspects were arrested following a directive by Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo as to the crackdown on illegal miners in the state.
He said that the arrests were effected by a combined team, involving officers of the NSCDC, the military, the police and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), among others.
Elisha said that the suspects would be subjected to appropriate profiling before they were charged to court.
“We are here to work and we must carry out the governor’s directive to the fullest so as to ensure that the environment is safe for all.
“Illegal mining is impacting negatively on the lives of the people in Imo.
“It is one of the causes of landslide and heavy flooding; so we should not allow it to happen again,” he said.
One of the suspects, Kelechi Nwokocha, who pleaded for forgiveness, admitted that he had been in the business for about seven years.
“I was arrested at Worie River at Nekede Old Road.
“I am aware that we are doing illegal business and that our mining activities are impacting negatively on the environment.
“If I am given a second chance, I will not go back to illegal mining again,” he said.
It would be recalled Gov. Uzodimma recently announced a ban on illegal mining and directed security agencies to crack down on the perpetrators.