General News of Thursday, 14 December 2017
Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour, has disclosed that some youths in mining communities are offering bribes to security and other officials belonging to the Operation Vanguard task force in the region.
The Operation Vanguard team comprises of personnel from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces and other security agencies. They have been tasked to flush out all illegal miners to safeguard the environment.
Mr Darfour said: “There are some youths here who get the Vanguards to a location and bribe them, so, it does not work. This is unfortunate. How can this happen? How can the country thrive when these are happening? It is a serious matter. However, the Vanguards have worked hard, they have arrested many people and seized several equipment. No one should think that the machines seized will be released”.
But outgoing leader of the anti-galamsey taskforce, Colonel William Agyapong has denied such claims.
He told Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor on Thursday, 14 December that none of his officials has been compromised. For him, it will be difficult to even try to bribe the team members because they are only made aware of the details of an operation when they are about to move into action.
“From where I sit and the operations we have been conducting so far, I can say emphatically that no Operation Vanguard personnel has stooped so low to be compromised as it is being said,” he noted.
He wondered why OV personnel will resist the temptation of stealing huge amounts of money seized from the galamseyers and later settle for a pittance as bribe. He cited an instance in Atiwa where OV personnel seized over GHS40,000 from the illegal miners to use as exhibits.
“These monies were intact as of the day they were giving pronouncements at the courts and handed over to them,” he explained.
Colonel Agyapong added that if the Vanguards were looking for money, they would not have handed over such huge amounts collected from one location to go and collect peanuts.
He said OV personnel have received several calls from people who wanted to bribe them, however, they have always resisted the temptation.