One Chinese arrested, six Ghanaians escape for illegal mining

The Excavator Tracking Taskforce of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining on Saturday arrested a Chinese and six Ghanaians at the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region for engaging in illegal mining.

They were handed over to the Amansie West Police, however, the six Ghanaians surprisingly escaped from police custody.

The Chinese suspect would be handed over to the Ghana Immigration Service for the necessary action.

Some of the items seized from the suspects included five pump action guns, ammunitions, CCTV monitors, a recorder and some quantities of sand containing gold ore.

Mr Meniru Ahmed, a member of the Excavator Tracking Taskforce, told journalists at a media briefing in Accra on Sunday that, the taskforce had a tip-off, which led to the arrest of the illegal miners.

He said the suspects were undertaking illegal mining under the pretext of reclaiming some mined out areas in the Amansie West District.

He said after the arrest the taskforce handed the suspects to the Police so that they could follow up on another leads to an illegal mining site.

However, Mr Ahmed said, upon return to the Police Station, they did not meet any of the police personnel who took custody of the suspects, while the six Ghanaians were reported to have escaped from custody.

Mr Meniru expressed surprise that while they were at the mining site some police personnel came there to cause their arrest upon a request by one of the illegal miners.

He, therefore, appealed to the Government to assist the taskforce in their efforts to halt illegal mining, otherwise known as “galamsey”.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, said the Committee was making progress in the fight against illegal mining.

He said it would not be discouraged by some miscreants who were still doing illegal mining secretly despite the ban.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who is also the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, called for collaborative efforts from all Ghanaians to halt the menace, saying that, the Government was training artisanal small-scale miners to engage in sustainable mining.

He said the Committee would institute an investigation into the escape of the six Ghanaians and those found culpable would be dealt with accordingly.



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