One Chinese arrested, six Ghanaians escape for illegal mining

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Oct.07, GNA – The Excavator Tracking
Taskforce of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining on Saturday
arrested a Chinese and six Ghanaians at the Amansie West District of the
Ashanti Region for engaging in illegal mining.

They were handed over to the Amansie West
Police, however, the six Ghanaians surprisingly escaped from police custody.

The Chinese suspect would be handed over to
the Ghana Immigration Service for the necessary action.

Some of the items seized from the suspects
included five pump action guns, ammunitions, CCTV monitors, a recorder and some
quantities of sand containing gold ore.

Mr Meniru Ahmed, a member of the Excavator
Tracking Taskforce, told journalists at a media briefing in Accra on Sunday
that, the taskforce had a tip-off, which led to the arrest of the illegal
miners.

He said the suspects were undertaking illegal
mining under the pretext of reclaiming some mined out areas in the Amansie West
District.

He said after the arrest the taskforce handed
the suspects to the Police so that they could follow up on another leads to an
illegal mining site.

However, Mr Ahmed said, upon return to the
Police Station, they did not meet any of the police personnel who took custody
of the suspects, while the six Ghanaians were reported to have escaped from
custody.

Mr Meniru expressed surprise that while they
were at the mining site some police personnel came there to cause their arrest
upon a request by one of the illegal miners.

He, therefore, appealed to the Government to
assist the taskforce in their efforts to halt illegal mining, otherwise known
as “galamsey”.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the
Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, said the
Committee was making progress in the fight against illegal mining.

He said it would not be discouraged by some
miscreants who were still doing illegal mining secretly despite the ban.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who is also the
Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, called for
collaborative efforts from all Ghanaians to halt the menace, saying that, the
Government was training artisanal small-scale miners to engage in sustainable
mining.

He said the Committee would institute an
investigation into the escape of the six Ghanaians and those found culpable
would be dealt with accordingly.

GNA

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