Sierra Leone News: Chinese Embassy working with police on the deportation of 31 nationals

Deputy Ambassador Wang Xinmin

Deputy Ambassador of China, Wang Xinmin, on Wednesday 26 September 2018, said they will work with the Police on the issue of deporting 38 Chinese nationals for illicit mining. Wang said since they were arrested about two months ago, the Embassy was informed and they supported the government in their arrest but called on them to respect their human rights until a decision is taken. “We do not want our nationals to come to Sierra Leone and do the wrong thing, because in China we have laws and nobody will be allowed to flout them. It is the same in Sierra Leone nobody should break the laws.” He said they have been advising all Chinese businesses and investors coming to Sierra Leone to first of all register with the Embassy so that they will be guided on how they should go about their businesses, but some have refused to do that. “We are also calling on the Sierra Leone Embassy in China to make sure that they issue visas to the right people that meet the criteria and we will continue to work with the government to avert such ugly situations in the future.” The Deputy Ambassador averred that one of the Chinese national died in custody after they were arrested and said most of them cannot afford food since they were granted bail. “They (the awaiting deportees) are always in the Embassy disrupting work going on as they want to go back to China. Some of them are just ordinary labourers that were brought to Sierra Leone to work. They had no idea whether the job was illegal or not and now they have found themselves in a precarious position.” Talking on the deportation, Wang said the police have finished their investigation and now they are going to deport them. He said they will work with them to make sure that all of them leave Sierra Leone soonest as they have been in contact with their families in China. Wang averred that the question now is how these Chinese nationals arrived in Sierra Leone until they reached Tonkolili to do illegal mining. The answer to this question is what many of us are waiting for. “The Sino-Sierra Leone relationship has been very cordial in the 47 years of history and we want it to continue in that vein so we will not let this isolated incident dampen our spirit after such a successful summit that President Maada Bio had in Beijing. We are now working to implement those projects and we hope that this isolated incident will have no place in our history.” Wang called on all Chinese nationals to go to the Embassy website and read about how to register in Sierra Leone. He said it is in their own interest to obey the laws of the land and promote China ideals in Sierra Leone.

By Austin Thomas
Thursday September 27, 2018.