The Lagos State Police command on Tuesday arrested two Chinese nationals, Lin Piehao, 22 and Li Ruoneng, 27, for allegedly operating a factory where e-waste was illegally assembled and exported to China and Vietnam.
News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that a police source who confirmed the arrest to journalists said operatives from Area “F” Command, Ikeja, uncovered the factory through intelligence reports.
It was reported that the visas of the two suspects have expired but they continued to stay in the country without showing any plans of leaving.
Cops stormed the factory in Ikeja which had no signpost and arrested the suspects.
According to the source, several cartons of e-waste already packaged and billed to be exported to China and Vietnam through air cargo were recovered.
“We got a tip-off about their activities and we stormed there and arrested them. 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 started working in Nigeria illegally.”
The police source said one of the suspects, Lin confessed to the crime. He quoted him as saying, “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 them to China and Vietnam.
“We have some Nigerian casual workers in our factory but we give them the rules and urge them to be discreet before they join us.
“We actually came into Nigeria with one month visa to explore the country and study the business we can do, but our boss in China urged us to open the factory and we have been enjoying Nigeria.
“We 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 a work permit, but the e-waste business is very lucrative.
“We do a lot to ensure that the smoke from the e-waste doesn’t affect the environment where we operate.”
Meanwhile, police authorities have vowed to arraign the suspects in court to serve as a deterrent to other foreigners who embark on illegal activities unhindered.