Ondo State government yesterday sent back 13 illegal miners who were smuggled into the state from neighbouring Osun State.
The illegal miners were said to have arrived the state in a haulage truck used in conveying cement.
It was gathered that the driver of the truck had made attempts to drop the occupants of the truck at the FUTA south gate, in the outskirts of the town before some residents of the area saw them and reported to the state Task force on COVID-19.
The driver of the truck was said to have told interrogators that he picked the passengers at the border of Osun State on compassionate ground when they begged him to take them to Akure.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Special duties and Strategies, Dr Doyin Odebowale, said he mobilised security operatives to where the truck was parked with the illegal miners inside.
Odebowale praised the residents for being vigilante.
He noted that the illegal miners carried shovels and claimed to be coming from Ilesa, Osun State.
According to him, “All these passengers said they were displaced from Osun State. You know there are mines in Osun. The driver wanted to drop them in Akure.
“The driver was trying to dump them here in Akure but the people saw him and held him down. We will now impound any truck that smuggles non-residents into the state during this COVID-19 period.”