Anti-galamsey taskforce burns seized excavators

An excavator set ablaze

An excavator set ablaze

Six excavators seized by the national anti-galamsey taskforce have been destroyed.

The taskforce set the earth-moving equipment ablaze yesterday at Bamso and Kwabeng in the Eastern Region.

Other equipment used by the illegal miners were also destroyed by the joint military-police taskforce commissioned last week to execute Operation Vanguard to clamp down on illegal mining, popularly called galamsey.

The equipment were seized when the team stormed the two mining towns  yesterday morning.

The clampdown follows a violent clash between the taskforce and illegal miners at Wawasi in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region on Sunday, which left one illegal miner dead.

More than 80 illegal miners have been arrested by the 400-member taskforce in their operations in mining communities especially in the Eastern, Western and Ashanti regions.

However, a section of Ghanaians are questioning the propriety of the burning of the equipment and excavators, describing the action as contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act 2015.

Section 99 (5) indicates that where a person is arrested for an illegal mining offence, “any equipment used in or associated with the commission of the offence, shall regardless of the ownership of the equipment or product, be seized and kept in the custody of the police.”

Subsection (6) states that “ A court which convicts a person for an offence under subsections 2,3 and 4, shall in addition to the penalty that it may impose, order the forfeiture of any equipment or production seized under subsection (5) to the State.”

In addition, subsection (7) of the Act indicates that “The minister shall within 60days after the confiscation of the equipment or product, allocate the equipment or product to the appropriate state institution to which the equipment or product is allocated.”

 

By Times Reporter

 

 

 

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