202 Foreign ‘Galamseyers’ Surrender

DCOP DR.PIn order to avoid being arrested by the National Task Force for illegal mining, 202 foreigners mainly Chinese, have surrendered to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

The latest to arrive at the premises of GIS headquarters in Accra yesterday were 157 Chinese, including 15 females on board  Metro Mass Transit buses.

Forty-five others arrived over the weekend to be screened and consequently cleared so they can return to their home countries.

The Ghanaian Times gathered that those who arrived yesterday were engaged in illegal mining at Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region and parts of the Ashanti Region.

When The Ghanaian Times arrived at the premises of GIS at about 9am, the migrants were seen disembarking from the two Mass Metro Transit buses with their luggage and food stuff.

As at the time of leaving the premises they were going through screening with an official from the Chinese Embassy assisting in the process. The official, however, declined to comment.

Assistant Comptroller of Immigration (ACI), Francis Palmdeti, Director of Public Affairs, however told the Ghanaian Times that when the Service enquired about their voluntary dissertation and subsequent submission to be screened, they claimed they have decided not to engage in the illegal business again and to avoid arrest by the task force.

ACI Palmdeti said the Service was closely working with the Chinese Embassy in Accra to facilitate the processing of the migrants and their repatriation, explaining that their database has been captured and they cannot leave the shores of Ghana until they are cleared.

The Embassy, he stated, recently repatriated 39 Chinese who were accosted for engaging in illegal mining.
Meanwhile, he said, the 57 illegal miners who were arrested at Kibi last week were allegedly made up of 51 Nigeriens, two Togolese, a Nigerian and three Ghanaians were being held in the custody of the Service to be screened.

He noted that his outfit was liaising with their respective Embassies to ascertain whether they were indeed nationals from those countries for the necessary action to be taken including repatriation.

Mr. Palmdeti indicated that between June 1 and 5, a total of 168 migrants including six Russians were arrested in connection with  illegal mining activities, noting that out of the number, 39 were repatriated, 19 were currently in custody awaiting trial and others were granted bail.

Out of the number, the Director of Public Affairs said 137 of them were fined a total of GH¢274.000 for illegally operating in the country without working permit.

He indicated that his outfit was working closely with the Joint Task Force made up of the National Security Secretariat, the Police Service, the Bureau of National Investigations, various District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies as well as other security services and stakeholders to clamp down on activities of illegal miners.

The President, John Dramani Mahama, recently inaugurated the Joint National Task Force to collaborate with the metropolitan assemblies to curb activities of illegal miners.

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