The Lagos State Police Command has uncovered a factory where e-waste are assembled and exported to China and Vietnam.
Detectives attached to the Area ‘F’ Police Command who uncovered the factory have arrested two persons behind the e-waste company.
The police said the visas of the two suspects, Lin Piehao, 22 ,and Li Ruoneng, 27, had since expired but they continued to stay in the country unperturbed.
The operatives stormed the No. 19 Sule Abuka Street, Ikeja, Lagos, factory, which had no signboard and arrested the suspects with several cartons of the e-waste already billed to be exported to China and Vietnam through air cargo.
A senior police officer said: “We got a tipoff about the activities of the suspects and we stormed the company and arrested two suspects. We also discovered that the two brains behind the company are staying in Nigeria illegally. They came to Lagos in May and they were issued one month visa, but they exceeded their stay and working in Nigeria illegally.”
One of the suspects, Lin, confessed: “We buy phone panels (Android and Nokia panels). We buy them from phone repairers and scrap sellers. We remove the panel I.C. with machine and then ship it to China and Vietnam.
“We have some Nigerian casual workers in our factory but we give them the rules and urge them to be discrete before they join us.
“We actually came into Nigeria with one month visa to explore the country and study to know the business we can do, but our boss in China urged us to open the factory and we have been enjoying Nigeria and did not want to go back despite the expiration of our visa.
“I don’t have work permit. I know it is a crime to work without work permit, but the e-waste business is very lucrative. We do a lot to ensure that the smoke from the e-waste don’t affect the environment where we operate.”
Police authorities vowed to arraign the suspects in court to serve as deterrent to some foreigners who embark on illegalities unhindered.
The police source said they have declared manhunt for some Nigerians who connived with the suspects.
He said: “Study had revealed that e-waste are injurious to human beings. In addition to its damaging effect on the environment and its illegal nature, researchers have now linked e-waste to adverse effects on human health, such as inflammation and oxidative stress – precursors to cardiovascular disease, DNA damage and possibly cancer.”