Ghana’s illegal mining task force, Operation Vanguard, in a night swoop, arrested nine Chinese illegal miners in the Aowin Municipality of the Western Region.
The suspects were arrested at Omanpe, Kwahu, Enfadiagoro and Oppong krom all in the Aowin Municipality.
The arrest on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 followed a long period of intelligence of miners in the area, by the joint military and police taskforce.
The Officer Commanding (OC) FOB WEST, who led the patrol to stall the destruction of fresh water bodies and the environment, stated that the arrested Chinese illegal miners, were aged between 29 and 58 years.
The OC added that the culprits and their confiscated exhibits linking them to their illegal activities, will be transferred to the office of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), in Accra for further action.
The seized exhibits included 1 Toyota Tacoma pick-up (AW 7777-19), 1 Mistsubishi pick-up (GE 6842-16), 3 Excavator monitors and 2 Excavator control boards, 5 rolls of gold washing mat, 5 radio sets, 1 stabilizer, 1 repeater, 1 Pump Action gun and 30 AA cartridges.
The OC posited that the taskforce will continue to execute its mandate without fear or favor in ensuring that the president’s aim of stopping illegal mining and consequently saving Ghana’s environment and water bodies are realized.
The Crime Officer of the taskforce on his part said that any person arrested by the Operation Vanguard Taskforce will be made to face the full rigors of the law to continually serve as deterrent to potential and actual illegal miners in the country.
Gov’t won’t weaken stance on galamsey fight despite challenges – Nana Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has renewed his commitment to tackling the issue of illegal small scale mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ in the country.
Delivering the State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, the President indicated that government still stands by its position to use all available means to address the galamsey menace which continues to destroy large portions of the country’s vegetation cover and water resources.
This comes at a time when many have taken on the government for what they consider as its failure to deal with the menace as promised in the run-up to the 2016 general elections.
While commending the efforts of the media coalition against galamsey and the Inter-ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining, Nana Addo mentioned that he will ensure that no one in government neglects his or her responsibility in the fight to protect Ghana’s environment.
“When we came into office in January 2017, galamsey activities were rampant in many parts of the country. Our lands, forests and river bodies were being systematically degraded and destroyed without any care and this had been the case for several years. The previous NDC government had given up the fight against galamsey but we determined that this was an intolerable situation and we owed it to generations unborn to tackle the problem and save our environment. I was therefore not under any illusion about the size and scope of the problem that we are taking on.
“I was cheered by the support of the large population that recognized the dangers posed by the degradation of our lands and water bodies and the needless deaths of many young people who were buried alive in makeshift mining pits. Mr. Speaker, the threat posed to the future of our country by galamsey is grave. We cannot shirk our responsibility in the fight against galamsey. Government will not weaken its stance and welcomes the continued support of the media coalition. The Inter-ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining has been working very hard and has some successes,” Nana Addo noted.
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH