From Ikenna Maxwell, Awka
Naval officers operating around the Ogbaru Naval outpost, Anambra State have arrested about fifteen illegal sand dredgers at the banks of the River Niger.
Apart from those arrested, some other suspects fled. Some boats and other dredging equipment belonging to the dredgers were also seized by the naval officers.
The suspects claim they were operating under an agreement with a certain Augustine Nwachukwu who claimed he represents the Federal Ministry of mines and power. They said that when they realized the claim by Nwachukwu was false, they stopped any form of payment to him.
HOMELAND NEWS gathered from a representative of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Power, Mrs. Diejomaoh over the telephone that those arrested by the navy had no licence to operate as provided by the law.
The suspects will soon be charged to court.
The Navy through the Commander of the Outpost in Ogbaru, Navy Captain Mike Oamen claimed that operating a business along the water ways without an approved licence could act as a cover-up to criminal activities
He vowed that the Nigerian Navy would continue to intensify regular patrol along the Ogbaru water ways.