The Chairman of the Taraba State Task Force Committee, General Jeremiah Faransa, has lamented the involvement of over 20,000 residents in illegal mining and deforestation in the state.

He said that over 100 ring leaders and foreigners have been arrested, adding that the state government will not lower its guard in the fight against illegal miners and those bent on acts of deforestation across the state.

It was an unannounced invasion of the illegal miner’s camp by the taskforce team set up by the Taraba government following the ban on illegal mining and deforestation.

Upon arrival, the team uncovered makeshift shanties and locally made guns used by some of the illegal miners alleged to be used for kidnapping and other banditry activities.

Acting on the directives of the state governor to destroy everything found on each mining sites, the task force team set ablaze all machines and makeshift shanties at the mining site.

According to the Chairman of the task force, finding shows that the mining activities constitute a great danger and breeding ground for banditry. However, the task force confiscated 22,275 kilograms blue sapphire.