Four Chinese illegal miners, popularly known as galamseyers have been arrested by the Anti-‘Galamsey’ taskforce during its routine clampdown on illegal mining activities in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
The taskforce also seized four excavators and four pomp action guns, and items used in the illegal activities in the area.
The items included, wooden carpets, PVC/steel pipes, power converters, two car batteries, radio communication gadgets and other household items.
The Head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) monitoring team, Staff Sergeant Francis Assibu Abu (rtd), gave the names of the suspects as Jizhong, Wu Mingxiang, Yang Shiyuan and Huang Yillie, saying that they were initially held in custody at the Obuasi Police Command, but had since been taken to Accra for further investigations.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview yesterday, Staff Sgt Abu said the weapons retrieved from the suspects were in the custody of the Obuasi police for further investigations.
The four excavators according to him, had been taken to Obuasi where all seized equipment from illegal mining operations are kept in the interim before finally taken to Accra, headquarters of the IMCIM, where it was determined how to dispose of them.
Staff Sgt Abu said the dawn raid on the illegal mining sites, were conducted at at Besease and Bekwai areas over the past 14 days.
He said because the operation took place in the night most of the galamseyers escaped into the forest before the arrival of the taskforce.
Staff Sgt Abu said the taskforce would not relent on its official dutyuntil all illegal miners were flushed out of the system as their activities were negatively impacting on the environment, particularly water bodies, which are sources of water for domestic, agricultural and industrial use.
“We will move on site to arrest people who are engaged in illegal mining anytime we get the tip-off,” he said.
The IMCIMM taskforce is made up of a combined team of personnel from the Police, CID, National Security and presidential guards.
BY NORMAN COOPER