18 illegal Chinese miners caught 'black handed,' not in Ghana this time

Eighteen Chinese men caught illegally mining black sand have been taken into custody in the northern coastal town of Aparri in the Philippines.

The Philippines justice department organized a raid following suspicions that Chinese company Hua Xia Miing and Trading Corp. was mining close to the beach, which is illegal.

Hua Xia Miing is allowed to mine magnetite from a river near Aparri, but no mining is allowed within 200 metres of any Philippine beach.

Making matters worse, the men being held have been found to be without proper work permits, which could led to criminal charges.

“Nine Chinese nationals were burrowing and processing magnetite sand within the prohibited zone,” Alex Lactao of the justice department said Thursday.

“The other nine were arrested at a nearby beach where they were building a magnetite processing plant.”

A reported 80 Chinese men were arrested back in 2010, charged for illegal chromite mining.

And perhaps most infamously, some 50,000 illegal Chinese gold miners were operating in Ghana as late as June of this year, until the Ghanaian government's crackdown led to arrests and deportations, both involuntary and voluntary.