Two government appointees in the Amansie West District Assembly of the Ashanti region have been named as part of a syndicate allegedly engaging in illegal mining in the area.
The two, have been identified as Samuel Asare-Brew, a NADMO Coordinator and one Owusu Mensah, who works at the Youth Employment Authority in the district.
DailyMailGh.com gathers that the two have been assisting and providing Chinese nationals with protection to engage in illegal mining.
The startling revelation was made known after two Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining were arrested by the monitoring team of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
The Chinese nationals have been identified as Xin Tang and Huang Huanquin.
Speaking to DailyMailGh.com, the head of the taskforce, Francis Assibi Abu, said the two Chinese nationals were arrested at Agyadwokrom, near Manso-Nkwanta, following grave concern by indigenes of widespread illegal mining in the area.
“We had information from residents that there are these Chinese in the community devouring their land. According to them, they had knowledge that there were some powerful hands from the assembly that are backing them [the Chinese]… so we conducted investigations and found out that the statement was true so on the 25th of April we went to the site to pick them up from there”, Mr Abu explained.
The taskforce, according to Mr Abu, also seized a number of equipment after more than 72 hours hunt for them.
Preliminary investigations also revealed that the Chinese nationals had no permit to engage in any mining activity in that enclave.
Mr Abu also recounted how officials from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) stormed the site to demand release of the suspects.
The team, however, turned down the request and subsequently moved the suspects to the Obuasi District Police headquarters.
He alleged that the officials may have come to the site on the instructions of the District Chief Executive, Nii Lartey Ollenu.
“The issue actually was that if I got them clear they were there with his [the DCE] knowledge and so I don’t think it is necessary for me to contact him on this matter”, Mr Abu explained.
“At the local government level, he represents the office of the President and the mission of the President is to flush out illegal miners from our territories and so I don’t think officers from the assembly will lobby for the release of these Chinese nationals”, he added.
The Chinese nationals DailyMailGh.com gathers would be transferred to Accra for further investigations.
Source: Daily Mail GH