Men of the Ondo State Security Network, the Amotekun Corps, have arrested 15 persons suspected to be mining gold illegally inside the Owo forest reserves.
The suspects were operating in 50 locations inside the forest when they were nabbed.
Names of the suspects were given as Shuaibu Yahaya, Habbi Usman, Kabiru Waheed, Mohammed Nurudeen, Mohammed Sulaman, Ali Mustapha, Ismaila Wahab, Musa Zeehed, Gabbar Musa, Sule Adamu Abba Suleman, Usman Kebiru, Yahaya Danladi and Usman Ali Zekeri.
The Amotekun officials said they trekked for four hours into the forest led by local hunters after they got intelligence about activities of the miners.
Commander of Ondo Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, said the arrest was part of effort to end criminality in the state.
“The arrest took place at a forest reserve in Owo. We discovered the illegal mining locations in the course of our usual exercise. We noticed that they have gone far in 50 different locations where they were mining.
“Nobody would have believed that Ondo state have this quality of gold until we got to the locations where the gold robbers were living and performing illegal mining. Beyond the arrest, the culprits will be prosecuted,” said Adeleye.
Amotekun operatives also arrested five suspected armed robbers terrorising travellers along the Benin-Owo road.
The gang leader was apprehended in Warri, Delta State.
Adeleye said: “We also nabbed five armed robbery suspects who were operating along Benin -Akure road. And most times, it is early morning they strike.
“We worked on intelligence and sold a dummy to them and they were traced to Delta State where he was apprehended”.