Nigeria 'frees Chinese traders'

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Dozens of Chinese textile traders arrested in Nigeria and accused of "economic scavenging" earlier this week have now been released.

Chinese embassy spokesman Ding Yonghua said many of the traders, who were picked up in the northern city of Kano, had already left the country.

Dozens more Chinese held in Lagos for visa offences were also freed.

Mr Ding urged Chinese nationals to obey local laws and ensure all their documents were in order.

Those arrested in Kano had been trading at a textile market. Nigerian law bans foreigners from the retail trading of textiles.

Local immigration chief Emmanuel Brisca Ifeadi described the Chinese as "scavengers" and said the arrests were part of a wider crackdown.

He said all foreigners found to be trading illegally would be targeted in the crackdown, not just Chinese.

China is now Africa's largest trading partner, surpassing the United States and its traditional European partners.

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