Somaliland: Unlicensed Mining Cartel Detained Awaiting Deportation Orders

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as Foreign Firm is Approved to Conduct Mineral Survey

By: Osman A.M.

BERBERA (Somalilandsun) – Police in Berbera have arrested foreigners clandestinely mining gemstones along the Eastern coast of the coastal town and after initial interrogations established that they are part of a cartel looting the country’s mineral resources that are abundantly found in coastal hills.

Preliminary reports confirmed that the cartel is of different nationalities including Somalis with Swedish citizenship, Iranians & Qataris who initially come into the country as tourists before a locally owned organization risked them to steal the precious stones.

Outcome of the ongoing investigation since Tuesday is not yet in public but the undisputable fact is that the group was engaged in an illegitimate trade with consequences ranging no less than criminal prosecution in addition to deportation to their countries of origin.

Inquiries that were channeled to the Mineral Resource & Energy Ministry met unyielding defense with officials insisting that the group have license vesting them with mining rights yet these officials have neither no knowledge of the group’s presence in the country nor the arrest made so far in connection to their activities.

Immigration Department is however certain that once these foreigners are transferred to the city from Berbera they would be arraign in court to answer immigration charges before imminent deportation is approved.

Elsewhere the Ministry of Mineral Resources & Energy has confirmed approval of mineral survey to be conducted soon in the country.

The Deputy Minister for Mineral Resources & Energy Hon. Abdisalam Mohamed Jama accompanied by top geologists from Mineral Department has on Wednesday officially received a delegation of Directors from Bandoo Donson Energy Group at Egal International Airport in Hargeisa.

The Deputy Minister hinted that mineral survey would be conducted soon by the company in his address to media outlets at the airport’s VIP lounge saying;

“Today (Wednesday) we are receiving six Directors led by the Vice President of the group-Bandoo Donson Energy. This being their 2nd visit to our country, they would be around for 10 days and would open offices to operate from before being replaced by another butch who shall come before the 1st half of this month”.

Hon. Jama appreciated the rapport developed between the firm directors & Ministry officials while wishing them a nice stay in the country.

The Group’s Vice President thanked the hospitality of the people of Somaliland reflected in their reception.

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