They were arrested on Sunday, February 2 at about 3:30pm by personnel of the Operation Vanguard, a task force launched by Ghanaian authorities to fight the menace.
They have been identified as Gao Honsheng, Tang Houng Yi, and Wang Houng. The task force also arrested two Ghanaians namely Boakye Emmanuel and Kwame Gyamfi.
Items retrieved from the suspects included a generator, a single barrel gun, a step down machine, and two ammunition.
While the Ghanaian suspects have been granted a police enquiry bail, the Chinese nationals have been detained by officials of the Ghana Immigration Service for further interrogation.
‘Galamsey’ back in full swing; forests, rivers under siege
Popularly called Galamsey, it appears the fight against illegal mining in Ghana is not paying off as illegal miners continue to pillage Forest Reserves and pollute water bodies for gold.
In the Oda River Forest Reserve in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti region, seven hectors of the 16,000 hectors of Forest Reserve have been wiped out by Chinese illegal miners and their Ghanaian counterparts.
Initial swoops by personnel from the Forestry Commission led to the arrest of two Chinese nationals who were detained at the Jacobu Police Station for 48 hours.
The two have since been granted bail as investigations continue.
Early this year, an unannounced visit to the forest by Ghana’s Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kweku Asumah Kyeremeh followed a tip-off by a whistleblower about how the Forest has come under siege following the invasion of illegal miners.
Over 500 seized excavators missing; NPP vice chair arrested
In a shocking revelation, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, disclosed that hundreds of seized galamsey excavators have gone missing at the various assemblies.
The minister who spoke in an interview on Accra-based Joy FM denied figures attributed former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John-Peter Amewu, that a total of 500 excavators were seized.
“That was not the case. We were told that 500 had been seized and given to the district assemblies. But later on, when we went out to check, the figure was far less than that”, he said.
When asked to state the actual figure, the minister said: “I cannot tell you exactly what but I can tell you it was far lower than the 500 put out”.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng’s comments sparked widespread criticisms by interest groups, including the Media Coalition Against Galamsey who are questioning the whereabouts of these heavy duty equipment.
Subsequently, a vice chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party in the Central Region, Ekow Ewusi is being interrogated by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service over the case.
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH