Bandits have levied operators at a gold processing site in the Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, N10,000 for the smooth running of the site.
Residents disclosed that no fewer than 70 small-scale gold processing sites were operating which was opened about two weeks ago.
It was discovered that bandits have been extorting money through the imposed levy placed on the operators after ambushing them and killing two of the operators on Thursday’s night.
According to the residents, the attack commenced around 8pm and lasted two hours.
Five other operators sustained injuries during the attacks while 11 of the workers were kidnapped by the gunmen.
The Chairman of the Katsina Minerals Processors, Tasi’u Abdullahi, confirmed the incident.
He revealed that the bandits later released one of the abducted operators, who they directed to deliver a letter conveying the imposition of the levy.
Abdullahi, who spoke in Hausa, said, “On Thursday, bandits launched an attack around 8.10pm. They came through a neighbouring river. On arrival, they started collecting money from the people after a boy announced their arrival to people by shouting ‘bandits, bandits.’ They killed two of our people, injured five others and kidnapped 11.
“I later received a report from a nearby village head that one of the kidnapped victims was eventually sent by the bandits with a handwritten letter saying that the attack launched by the hoodlums was just the beginning. They are, however, seeking our cooperation by always ensuring that we follow their policy.
“The policy is that the processing centres should be raising a contribution of N10,000. They also revealed that there are currently 11 people in their custody.”
The Katsina State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was ongoing.
He said, “Yes, the bandits attacked the processing site, killed two people and injured some others who were later taken to hospital for treatment. We have already launched an investigation into the real motives of the bandits.”