The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested 10 foreigners in Iba, Zambales for illegal mining.
On May 20, NBI’s environmental crime division arrested one Indonesian and nine Chinese nationals for violation of Section 103 of Republic Act 7942, or Theft of Minerals under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
“The 10 arrested foreign nationals, most of whom are Chinese, were caught in flagrant operating the dredging vessel SL-D1 siphoning sand which is suspected to be black sand from the dead river and transporting its cargo to the mother vessel. Five (5) vessels along the mouth of the Macolcol River were likewise seized. The confiscated vessels consist of one (1) dredger vessel, one (1) tugboat, and three (3) dumb barge,” NBI Director Dante Gierran said.
The Indonesian was identified as Afrizon Hary, and the Chinese nationals as Hongming Zhou, Jinewei Chen, Liao Nantu, Tang Peilong, Wen Haihu, Yichang Lin, Zhibin Xu, and Zhining Tang.
The NBI said they received intel on illegal extraction of lahar sand from the mouth of Macolcol River in San Felipe, Zambales. This was being done by foreign dredging vessels paid for by domestic firms without a government permit.