Operation Vanguard grabs 18 ‘galamseyers’ at Ayanfuri-Bibiani

The suspects

The suspects

Operation Vanguard last Thursday, arrested 18 illegal miners, commonly known as ‘galamseyers’, along the Ayanfuri-Bibiani road in the Western Region.

The suspects and items seized have been handed over to the Atakyem police in Dunkwa-on-Offin, also in the region, for further investigations.

The operation, led by the Commander of Operation Vanguard, Colonel Michael Amoah Ayisi, involved personnel from Ashanti, Central and Eastern Forward Operating Bases (FOB).

It covered illegal mining sites in Bibiani Ahwiaso in the Sewfi Bibiani-Ahwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western Region, and Ayanfuri, Brofoyedu, Abora, Breman, Treposo, Dominase, Adaboe, Diaso, all in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Operation Vanguard, Squadron Leader Robison Omane Agyei, told the Ghanaian Times that the team destroyed  85 changfans, 19 industrial water pumping machines, eight  excavators, 15 washing plants, and seized other mining equipment.

He said the Western FOB on Friday, conducted another operation at an illegal mining site at Wassa Kumasiin, the Amenfi East District, and arrested two Ghanaians, and a Togolese.

“The team seized one locally manufactured gun, eight cartridges and destroyed 10 chang fans, five water pumping machines and four washing plants. The suspects and items seized were sent to Wassa Akropong Police Station for further investigations.” Sqdn Leader Agyei added.

Sqdn Leader Agyei thanked the public for providing information about illegal miners to the Joint Task Force, and called for continued stakeholders’ support to save the environment “for today and the future”.

He revealed to the Ghanaian Times that “the illegal miners, especially the Chinese, adopted a dangerous method of acquiring gold and depositing the ‘black soil’ (ore) at the communities, households to process for gold in their bedrooms by applying chemicals such as cyanide, mercury”.

Sqdn Leader Agyei said expressed worry that, “These chemicals are disposed off right in our immediate environment. Human, livestock, poultry, water, the air we breathe are all exposed to these chemicals, and any exposure can cause various illnesses, including tuberculosis (TB), obstructive airborne disease, occupational asthma, oral and/or nasal cavity erosions, and noise-induced hearing losses”.

He assured that the team’s quest to flush out illegal miners from the hinterlands, forests and backyards, was yielding fruitful results.





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