About thirty-seven illegal gold miners in Lumezi district of Eastern Province have been arrested whilst twelve juveniles have been released.
National Parks and Wildlife Park Ranger, Joseph Bwalya has confirmed the arrest to ZANIS in Lundazi today that the suspects were apprehended on Tuesday morning in Lukusuzi National Parks following a patrol conducted by a team of wildlife officers.
Mr. Bwalya named the youngest among those arrested as Lawrence Mwale aged 21 of Kangoti village and the eldest as Lyson Nkhoma 69 of Kamwendo village all of Chief Chinunda in Chipangali district.
He said the suspects were intercepted as they were in the process of setting up camp in the national park so that they embark on mining without necessary documents; adding that twelve juveniles aged between 10 and 15 who accompanied them have been released.
Mr. Bwalya disclosed that wildlife officers recovered various items from the suspects which they wanted to use in illegal mining such as picks, shovels, buckets, axes and meshi wire among others.
He says all the thirty-seven suspects are currently detained at ZAWA offices in Lundazi and will appear in court soon charged with illegal entry into the park with the intent to conduct illegal mining contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Meanwhile the Park Ranger has warned people to refrain from entering the national park without authority, saying those that are interested in mining must obtain legal documentation from the Ministry of Mines.
Barely three months ago when twenty-two illegal gold miners in Lumezi district were arrested after being found conducting illegal mining in Lukusuzi National Park.