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By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara (Kamalo)

In what now appears to be a déjà vu, the Chinese Mafia enterprise, Leone Rock Metals, previously known as Kingho Mining, has once again come under scrutiny following the recent exposure of another fraudulent scheme orchestrated by the company.

An investigation conducted by this publication has revealed the elaborate deception and non-payment of Work and Resident Permit fees to Sierra Leone by the company for Chinese employees it has brought in. This not only deprives the government of essential resources but also violates the immigration and labor regulations of the country.

According to the investigation, Leone Rock has been obtaining a limited number of work and resident permits, which are then illicitly utilized by multiple Chinese workers, effectively defrauding the government of much-needed revenue.

This fraudulent activity, facilitated by certain self-serving individuals within the Immigration Department, has persisted for years until it was recently exposed by the resolute new Chief Immigration Officer, Hon. Alusine Kanneh, and his team, who subsequently issued a letter to the company demanding explanations.

Furthermore, the investigation uncovered that many of the Chinese workers employed by the company lack the necessary qualifications for their positions. Additionally, it is disconcerting to note that Sierra Leonean workers are fully capable and qualified to perform the tasks assigned to these Chinese nationals.

The laws governing employment in Sierra Leone explicitly prohibit companies from importing foreign workers for jobs that can be carried out by local citizens. Leone Rock’s consistent hiring of underqualified Chinese nationals for tasks that Sierra Leoneans are competent to undertake is a flagrant violation of the country’s employment regulations and should be met with appropriate consequences.

Another distressing revelation from our investigation is that Leone Rock not only mistreats and underpays Sierra Leonean employees but also prevents them from forming a Mines Union, which could advocate for improved working conditions and other welfare issues.

Regrettably, the authorities responsible for rectifying these transgressions in such criminal enterprises are either complicit or have been bribed to turn a blind eye to these injustices, thereby allowing Sierra Leoneans to suffer at the hands of these malefactors and causing significant financial losses to the government through various fraudulent activities orchestrated by these foreign companies.

When approached for comment, the company vehemently denied any wrongdoing, dismissing all allegations as baseless, unsubstantiated, and devoid of truth.

The investigation continues…

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