Libya dismantles illegal gold mining network
An illegal gold mining network, comprised of Chinese, Chadian, and Nigerien nationals, has been dismantled in southern Libya, local authorities have said in a statement.
The network, led by a Libyan man, was mining four large sites in the southern desert, said the Tripoli attorney general, which posted photos of the mines and seized gold ingots on its Facebook page on Sunday.
Two-thirds of the vast oil-rich country is desert and difficult to monitor, though gold mining is not thought to be widespread.
The foreign nationals who carried out the mining were staying illegally in Libya, the attorney general said, without clarifying when they were arrested.
This summer, the authorities dismantled an illegal cryptocurrency mining network on several sites in western Libya, arresting dozens of Chinese nationals.
Thrown into chaos since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya is split between a United Nations-supported government in the west and a rival administration in the east.