Fight against ‘Galamsey’ hits snag

General News of Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Source: The Free Press

2018-05-15

Government deployed a taskforce to fight the illegal mining menace

As government keeps on with the struggle to fight illegal small scale mining, popularly known as galamsey by employing deft security mechanisms, one of which is the introduction of the Operation Vanguard, it has become evident that galamseyers have been able to “buy” a cream of the Task Force, paving way for continuing with their illegal activities at midnight and away from the prying eyes of the general public.

In Amenfi East, Free Press Scouts can authoritatively reveal without fear or favor that top politicians, including incumbent Municipal Chief Executive, Hon Helena Ama Appiah, and the New Patriotic Party’s Chairman, Asafoakye Kwaku Badu, a.k.a ‘anyen mpo suro’, despite the ban on galamsey, are allegedly to be still complicit in the act.

Galamseyers in Amenfi East, with their links, our scouts say, are able to pay huge sums of monies to the Operation Vanguard so that they remain untouchable in their trade. Even after their arrest, they are able to get them released.

Kwaku Aborah a galamsey king pin, who also doubles as a mediator between galamseyers and the Opera-tion Vanguards, has hinted that in spite of the revelation, the hide and seek deal continues.

According to him, by an agreement with the galamseyers and the Operation Vanguards, they have gen-erated ‘special’ identification cards which identify members of the cartel from others, making them un-touchable.

Free Press scouts, however, gathered that each card cost more than GHC10,000 depending on the na-tionality of the person, with the Chinese some of who are still on the ground mining, paying more.

The new strategy for people eager to continue is link up with the Chinese, according to Aborah, before one can be successful in the business, since the Chinese are more resourced and experienced, having himself worked with one of them at his concession.

‘’The Akans say if you know how to wash your hands, you dine with elders, some of us we know how to push things through, we have our own way of dealing with the Vanguard, so you have nothing to worry about… me when I am working, there is no way Vanguards will come and hunt me, because we have our own means of dealing with them”, Kwaku Aborah told desperate Free Press editor, who pretended to be interested in being part of the illicit trade.

Physically impaired, Kwaku Aborah, apart from being the mediator between galamseyers and the Opera-tion Vanguard is also noted for mediating between land owners and Chinese galamseyers; he negotiates for concession acquisition for the Chinese, where he takes not less than GHC30,000 as goodwill and 20 percent cut from proceeds generated from the galamseyers.

However, our Special Investigative Team during our two weeks investigations at some sensitive mining areas in Amenfi East, discovered that one W.O Nuetey, Larry, a Police CID, Mr. Danquah , driver of the Operation Vanguard team, and Captain Issah Iddi , are the ones who allegedly fronts for most of the brib-ery deals.

Other Police officers, who secretly arrest galamseyers and allegedly negotiate for huge sums of cash, without consent of their Crime Officers, also included Chief Inspector Kwofie, and another CID called Ap-piah, all at Wassa Akropong, Amenfi East Municipal.

The tough cartel led by Kwaku Aborah, Kwaku Ofosu a.k.a Kwaku Saaman, the area’s NPP Youth Organiz-er, Cynthia (Women Organizer) Kumi Daafor, Youth Organizer,Boanor, and one Okusie, the MCE’s neph-ew, were all under the protection of Hon Helena Ama Appiah ,and the NPP’s Chairman, Free Press has gathered.

Others also believed to be top executives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) included Yaw Ben-son, Kwasi Gyedua, Frank Antwi and one other Appiahene.

The MCE’s concession at Amaningkrom is managed by Ben, and another one at Afransie managed by her own nephew Okusie, whilst her Asuogya Krobo concession is also managed by one Isaac Boakye.

The party’s chairman has his own concession at the Aserewadi Forest, Gyedua and Adansie.

The party’s Youth Organizer, Kwaku Saamang’s concession at Nkontabuo Supanso was also actively in business.

Others also included the party’s organizer whose concession is at Gyedua and Anyinabrem, whilst their Financial secretary operated a concession at Wassa Kumasi, their Women Organizer Cynthia also takes charge of concessions Dwokwaa and Hemang respectively.

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