Police in Mwinilunga have arrested 21 people for criminal trespass on a private property and illegal gold mining activities. North Western Province Police Commissioner Joel Njase has confirmed the development in an interview this afternoon.
Mr. Njase said the 21 suspects allegedly trespassed on a mining tenement belonging to Philton Investment limited contrary to section 306 (a) of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the laws of zambia.
He said the suspects were also found engaging in illegal gold mining and exploration contrary to section 12 (2) of the Mining and Mineral Development Act number 11 of 2015 of the laws of Zambia.
“The suspects have been charged for undertaking mining activities without an approved Environmental Impact Assessment which is contrary to section 117 as read with section 126 of the Environmental Management Act number 12 of 2011,” Mr. Njase.
Mr. Njase has also disclosed that Police have also seized equipment that was being used to conduct the illegal activities.
He named some of the equipments seized as a front end loader, an excavator, two motor vehicles (Isuzu registration number ABG 5907 and a Nissan registration number ABF 4121), a gold catcher, a crusher, washing machine, water pumps among others.
Mr. Njase said that the equipment has since been removed from site and taken to Mwinilunga Police Station.
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