The Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng has begun investigations into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
“The investigation includes the active and ongoing enquiry into allegations of use of public office for profit against Charles Bissue, during his tenure as secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, arising from an investigative documentary titled Galamsey Fraud Part I, published by Tiger Eye P.I,” Agyebeng said in a statement on Monday (10 October 2022).
The investigations also cover the mining activities of officials of the lands ministry and Akonta Mining Limited, which is owned by the Ashanti regional chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi.
Although Ghana requires permits to mine on a small scale, it is estimated that about 70% of small-scale miners are unregistered and operate illegally. They are known locally as galamsey, meaning to “gather and sell”.
While illegal mining supports livelihoods, it has caused severe damage to the environment. It is blamed for destruction of farmlands and pollution of water bodies. It also denies the state revenue: an estimated US$2.3 billion in 2016, reports The Conversation.
Below is the full statement:
The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has commenced investigation into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of illegal small-scale mining. The investigation targets some officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission. It also targets the activities and expenditure of the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), especially in respect of the seizure and management of excavators, machinery, road vehicles, and gold nuggets.
The investigation includes the active and ongoing enquiry into allegations of use of public office for profit against Charles Bissue, during his tenure as Secretary to the IMCIM, arising from an investigative documentary titled Galamsey Fraud Part I, published by Tiger Eye P.I.
The investigation further targets the activities of Akonta Mining Limited and other companies; nationals of foreign countries allegedly involved in illegal mining; and allegations of corruption and corruption-related offences against some Municipal and District Chief Executives and political party officials.
10 October 2022
Source: Daily Mail GH