125 Nigeriennes Arrested for Illegal Mining

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, based on the directives of the Eastern Regional Security Council, arrested one hundred and twenty-five (125) Nigeriennes engaged in illegal mining activities in Kyebi in the Eastern Region.

The exercise which was conducted at five different locations within the Kyebi Zongo Township on the midnight of 10th March, 2014 was led by Assistant Controller of Immigration (ACOI) Kofi Boakye, Head of the GIS Enforcement Unit, in Koforidua.

A statement signed by ACOI Francis Palmdeti, Head of Public Affairs at the GIS said the suspects whose arrest were based on intelligence gathered over a period of time, had amongst them twenty-three (23) minors and one elderly man who would be handed over to the Niger Embassy till their repatriation is effected.

Meanwhile, the exercise is ongoing till all illegal miners are flushed out from the Eastern Region.

The statement said intelligence gathered so far points to the fact that, there is a growing number of West African nationals engaging in small-scale mining activities across the country, which is a blatant disregard of Ghana’s’ laws which prohibit foreigners from engaging in small scale mining.

On 22nd December, 2013, one hundred and one [101] Guineans and four [4] Malians were also arrested for engaging in illegal mining at the Tinga forest reserve, in the Bole-Bamboi District by a team of security personnel. The suspects were arraigned on the 23rd December, 2013 and were subsequently repatriated.

The GIS therefore cautioned nationals of ECOWAS countries to desist from abusing the privileges granted under the ECOWAS protocol, by engaging in acts which are unlawful.

It emphasized that small-scale mining is the preserve of Ghanaians to the exclusion of all foreigners.