The joint military/police taskforce – Operation Vanguard – set up by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to enforce the ban on illegal mining (galamsey), has arrested nine galamseyers, eight of them being minors, at Mpohor in the Western Region.
The illegal miners were busted in an operation embarked upon by personnel of Operation Vanguard Western Forward Operating Base (FOB) at a galamsey site known as “K9” on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.
Additionally, the Operation Vanguard team seized mining equipment, including two excavators with chassis numbers, 5LROO587 and 5YOO732 and handed them over to the Mpohor District Assembly.
The team further immobilised three excavators, three control boards and monitor, motorbikes, nine water pumping machines and about 45 changfans.
The other seized items had been handed over to the Mpohor District police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The Public Relations Officer of the anti-illegal mining taskforce, Squadron Leader Robinson Omane Agyei, disclosed this to DAILY GUIDE in an interview.
He noted that the minors, aged between 15 and 17 years, and the ninth suspect, Seth Adjei Boahen, 29, were arrested during a dawn operation to clamp down on illegal mining in the community.
He indicated that Seth Boahen was sent to the Mpohor police station to assist with investigation whilst the minors were sent to the Social Welfare Department in the district for further investigations.
Squadron Leader Omane Agyei stated that the government wanted to regularise the mining sector and so instituted Operation Vanguard to clamp down on illegal miners.
He revealed that while some galamseyers and small-scale miners had put down their tools, others are still recalcitrant, adding, “Operation Vanguard is coming at those recalcitrant illegal miners.”
Squadron Leader Omane Agyei expressed, “….the use of minors in their activity is worrying and this is also against the labour laws. The minors who engage in illegal mining should note that they are just being used for the gain of a few and it is better for them to rather seek alternative jobs or just go into farming rather than engage in illegal mining.”
He called on Ghanaians to endeavour to volunteer information on illegal miners so that personnel of Operation Vanguard could swoop on them to help sanitize the environment.
“This will allow the government to regularise the sector for sustainable mining to the benefit of the entire country,” he pointed out.
Source: Daily Guide