The Taraba Task force on the Enforcement of Ban on Illegal Mining and Deforestation has arrested 3, 500 illegal miners in Bali Local Government Area of the state.
Retired Brig.-Gen. Jeremiah Faransa, Chairman of the task force made this known on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo.
He said that the illegal miners arrested were from Mali, Senegal, Chad, Zamfara and other part of the country.
He noted that the state was richly blessed with abundant natural resources begging to be harnessed not just for the benefits of the locals but the state and the country at large.
“This beautiful atmosphere endowed by nature is being threatened by the activities of some un-authorised people through illegal mining. These illegal miners take home billions of Naira on daily basis at the expense of the locals. They damage the ecosystem and environment which will have multiple effects on the future of the state.
“Dogon Yatsu, is an unmotorable thick forest which has become their new abode where they extract mineral resources of various kinds,” he said.
Faransa said that the arrested suspects had been prosecuted by a Mobile Court and were being punished accordingly.
He reiterated the determination of the special task force to safeguard the state and its environment from illegal miners encroachment by leaving no stone unturned.