Ten suspected illegal small-scale miners (galamseyers), including a Chinese national, have been arrested by the joint team of police, National Investigations Bureau (NIB) and National Security personnel at Axim in the Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira Municipality of the Western Region.
The illegal miners who were busted on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, were reported to have unlawfully invaded the legally acquired gold mining concession of the Okoben Mining Company Limited in Dominase.
The swoop, conducted by the Ghana Police Service in collaboration with the NIB and National Security, forms part of the government’s renewed fight against illegal mining.
According to available information, the number of miners was more than those arrested but some managed to run away at the time the national security officers stormed the site.
The miners managed to indiscriminately mine gold in the concession without the knowledge of the owner of the company, Nana Okoben Amponsah.
They also managed to clear large tracts of arable cocoa farmlands in a forest at the site of the company and tributaries of the Ankobra River had also been heavily polluted by their activities.
The team confiscated excavators and other items. The suspects have been sent to the Axim Divisional Police Command.
They are currently in police custody assisting with investigations into the matter.
The CEO of Okoben Mining Company Limited, Nana Okoben Amponsah is worried that despite the ban on these illegal activities, some “unpatriotic” Ghanaians are aiding foreigners to mine and destroy his gold mining concession he lawfully and legally secured for the past 24 years ago.
“How is it possible that despite the number of caution and announcements, people still have the effrontery to be engaging in illegal mining? What worries me the most is how our own people find it convenient to collaborate with foreigners on this destruction spree”.
Nana Okoben Amponsah said “it is very sad. But I make a solemn promise that we will not rest. If it means going after them every day, then that is exactly what we will do”.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com.com|Ghana
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