164 “galamseyers” grabbed in swoop… they include foreign nationals, 5 female sex workers

About 164 illegal miners, mostly foreign nationals have been arrested following a three-day operation by the military at Anyinam and Mampong in the Ashanti Region.

They are from Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

The arrested persons include five female sex workers who allegedly provided sexual services to the illegal miners.

The illegal miners were transferred to Accra yesterday in Ghana Armed Forces branded buses.

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr George MirekuDuker, who received the illegal miners, said they would be handed over to the police for further action.

He commended the military team undertaking Operation Halt II in the various mining communities.

Per the briefing, he said, they were caught illegally invading mining concessions and mining in river beds.

He stated that the females were allegedly lured to Ghana under the pretext of offering them jobs.

Mr Duker cautioned persons currently engaged in all forms of illegal mining to immediately stop and vacate the forests and water bodies.

“This is a warning to all those who have failed to heed to the several warnings to stop illegal mining. We will come after you, arrest and prosecute you. Move out of our river bodies and forests now,” he stated

The government, he said, would continue to use all legal means to fight the menace and called on Ghanaians to support the efforts.

The issue of illegal mining has been making waves in the media space again within the past week following the arrest of popular Chinese illegal miner, Aisha Huang.

Aisha Huang, who was earlier arrested in May 2017, and charged for undertaking illegal mining in the country was reportedly deported afterwards.

Tagged as ‘Galamsey Queen,’ the Ghanaian Times gathered that she had been in the country operating at an illegal mining site, until her arrest in Kumasi, last Friday by National Security operatives.

She and her accomplices were immediately flown to Accra the same day and arraigned.

Information available to the paper indicates that Aisha was put before a Circuit Court, charged with two counts of engaging in the sale and purchases of minerals without valid licence contrary to section 99(1) of Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2015(Act 900) and mining without licence contrary to section 99(3) of Minerals and Mining (amendment) Act 2015, Act900.

According to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Aisha was the kingpin of a Chinese illegal mining gang, with other members being Gao Jin Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun, 39; Haibin Gao, 26 and Zhang Zhi Peng, 23.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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