General News of Friday, 29 December 2017
The Amansie West District Assembly has arrested 42 illegal miners on River Offin at Manso Asaman and Essienkyim in the Ashanti Region on the eve of and on Christmas Day.
The arrest, which was done in collaboration with the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners and the police also destroyed 86 equipment used on the river.
Eighteen illegal miners were arrested and 44 equipment seized by the team on Christmas Eve while on Christmas day, the team apprehended nine illegal miners and 42 mining equipment.
Briefing Graphic Online, the District Chief Executive, Mr William Bediako Asante, noted that earlier this month, 17 others who were arrested and placed before the court were each fined GH¢12, 000.
He explained that four of them who could not pay the fine were serving a jail sentence of four and a half months.
The District Chief Executive said the exercise had become necessary due to the recalcitrant illegal miners who were flouting the moratorium placed on small-scale mining by the government.
He stated that the assembly would not allow some few greedy individuals to destroy river bodies, lands and forest areas just for their parochial interests.
He added that the directive by the government to halt small-scale mining activities was to allow for some lull to provide government and stakeholders with the opportunity to chart a new way forward.
Mr Asante commended the police and the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners for their support in dealing with the nation wreckers.
He cautioned those still in the business of mining on the rivers in the district to halt their activities because when arrested they would be made to face the full rigours of the law.