The Area F command of the Lagos State Police command today uncovered a factory where e-waste is assembled and exported to China and Vietnam.
Detectives also arrested two brains behind the e-waste company.
It was gathered that the visas of the two suspects, one Lin Piehao, 22 and Li Ruoneng, 27, had since expired but continued to stay in the country unperturbed.
Sources at the command revealed that operatives stormed the No 19 Sule Abuka Street, Opebi, Ikeja factory which had no signboard and arrested the suspects with several cartons of the e-waste already billed to be exported to China and Vietnam through air cargo.
“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 have issued a 1-month visa but they exceeded their stay and working in Nigeria illegally”. A police source said.
One of the suspects, Lin said: “We buy phone panels (Android and Nokia panels). We buy them from phone repairers and scrap sellers. We remove the panel I.C. with a machine and then ship it to China and Vietnam.
“We have some Nigerian casual workers in our factory but we give them the rules and urge them to be discrete before they join us.
“We actually came into Nigeria with one month visa to explore the country and study to know the business we can do, but our boss in China urged us to open the factory and we have been enjoying Nigeria and did not want to go back despite the expiration of our visa.
“I don’t have a 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.”
Police authorities vowed to arraign them in court to serve as a deterrent to some foreigners who embark on illegalities unhindered.
The study had revealed that e-waste is injurious to human beings.
In addition to its damaging effect on the environment and its illegal nature, researchers have now linked e-waste to adverse effects on human health, such as inflammation and oxidative stress – precursors to cardiovascular disease, DNA damage and possibly cancer.