Two killed as bandits take over Katsina diamond site, impose N10,000 levy on operators

The suspected bandits abducted eleven operators from the site but later released one of their victims to deliver a letter conveying the imposition of the levy.
Map of Katsina State
Map of Katsina State

No fewer than two people have been killed as gunmen suspected to be bandits took over the Diamond processing site in the Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The PUNCH reported that the bandits have imposed a levy of ten thousand naira ( N10,000.00) each to ensure unhindered operation at the site.

The processing site located at Bakin Korama Community in Magama Jibia border town of the council has about seventy small scale Diamond processing centres operating at the site.

Locals reported that the site which reportedly began operation about two weeks ago was invaded by the bandits on Thursday night. They killed two of the operators in a two-hour raid.

Confirming the incident on Monday evening, the Chairman of Katsina Diamond Processors, Tasi'u Abdullahi, told the press that five other operators were injured in the attack.

He added that the suspected bandits abducted eleven operators from the site but later released one of their victims to deliver a letter conveying the imposition of the levy.

Abdullahi said in Hausa, "On Thursday, bandits launched an attack at about 8.10 pm. 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 eleven.

"I later received a report from a nearby village head who informed me 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 each of the processing factories (centre) here should be raising a contribution of ten thousand Naira( N10,000.00). They also revealed that there are currently eleven people in their custody".

A local leader in Jibia - the Chairman of a socio-cultural group who pleaded for anonymity, said the gunmen must have come from a forest in the neighbouring Zamfara State.

However, as of the time of filing this report, the Katsina police command spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, has not reacted to the report after he was contacted for comments.

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