General News of Sunday, 27 May 2018
The anti-illegal mining taskforce – Operation Vanguard – has called on the Attorney General’s Department to expedite the prosecution of Chinese nationals arrested for mining illegally in the country.
The call by the Public Relations Officer of the task force, Squadron Leader Robinson Omane Agyei comes on the back of the arrest of more than 1155 individuals illegally mining in Ghana since the taskforce commenced operation to clamp down on the menace.
According to the task force, out of the 172 Chinese nationals arrested engaging in the nefarious act, only 22 have been jailed — a figure it labelled as woefully inadequate.
“The real challenge is that…they shouldn’t just fine them. They should fine them, imprison them or maybe repatriate them and that will solve the problem,” Squadron Leader Omane-Agyei told UIltimate News’ Kojo Ansah during a media encounter in the Eastern Region.
It is very important, he continued “that they fast track those cases because these are guys from their country who are here and want to destroy our land.”
Most of them, he added “come to Ghana and they don’t even buy anything from the economy. They send all their monies back home. So why should we allow them to degrade our lands and go back home?”
The government in July last year escalated its fight against illegal mining with the deployment of a joint military and police personnel to curb the scourge—Operation Vanguard.
In all, 400 officers were deployed in the first phase of a long-term campaign to protect mining sites across the country.