The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said it arrested 27 illegal miners in Imo, Plateau, Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger between January and May.
Public Relations Officer of the corps, Emmanuel Okeh, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
Okeh said that 10 of the suspects were from Imo, five from Plateau, six from Sokoto, three from Kaduna and three from Niger, adding that the persons arrested in Plateau were Chinese.
He said that some of the suspected illegal miners had been charged to court.
He said: “The people caught in Niger had been sentenced to seven-year imprisonment.”
The NSCDC spokesman noted that some illegal miners were spotted in the act in Kogi and Bwari area of Abuja, but fled the scene before the personnel of the agency could get to them.
Okeh said: “The miners were not arrested but we impounded their equipment, such as excavator that was abandoned as they fled the scene.
“We confiscated the equipment as exhibit.”
Okeh assured that the corps would continue to work harder to ensure that illegal miner were flushed out.