Ellembelle excavator saga: 9 more in police grip …6 Ghanaian, 3 Chinese in custody

Nine more suspects, including three Chinese, have been arrested by the Police as part of operations to track missing excavators and kingpins behind illegal mining at Teleku Bokazo in the Ellemebelle District of the Western Region.

The Police posted on their website that six of the suspects were Ghanaians.

Names of the nine suspects being held in police custody were not disclosed.

“The Police, in the early hours of yesterday, arrested nine more suspects and retrieved three excavators and three pump action guns in another anti-galamsey operation in the Western Region,” the statement added.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the police arrested five Chinese in connection with the two  missing excavators at Ellembelle in the Western region.

In an update on Thursday, the police mentioned that the suspects were arrested for their involvement in the case and  also as part of an ongoing investigation of the excavators which got missing at Teleku Bokazo galamsey site in  Ellembelle district.

The intelligence-led operation led to the arrest of Shi Zhong Qix, Wei Lin Xi, Huang Qian Xi, Li Jian Wen and Huang Qian Sheng at their hideout at Asiama in the Ellembelle District.

Ghanaian Times gathered that the Chinese suspects were escorted to the Regional Police Headquarters in  Sekondi for further investigations. 

Meanwhile, the police website reported that the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has been contacted for details of the immigration status of the suspects and their Ghanaian sponsors, to assist with the investigation.

“As investigation continues, we would like assure the public that all other accomplices, both Ghanaian and foreigners will be arrested and brought to face justice.” it added. 

The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Ellembelle, Mr Kwasi Bonzo, who was also arrested for obstruction offence in connection with the case, had been granted police enquiry bail on Wednesday. 

The report commended the Region Command and all the teams involved in the operations for their selflessness and patriotism.

On September 6, a team of operations and intelligence officers working day and night discovered one of the missing excavators several kilometres into a forest within the Ellembelle District,” police said in a statement on Wednesday.

It was recalled that the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzo, on last Thursday accused the  Essiama Divisional Police Commander, ACP Dodzi Hlordzi, and his team, for reluctantly releasing two police officers to guard two brand new excavators seized from an illegal mining site near Nkroful Senior High School at Teleku Bokazo.

Later, the excavators vanished from the site and began what has become a turf war between the DCE and the Regional Police Command.

The Western Regional Police Command in rebuttal said the police did not take custody of any excavators as alleged by the Ellembelle DCE.

The statement signed by the Head of Police  Public Affairs Unit in Western Region, Superintendent Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, on Saturday stressed,  “ We wish to categorically state that no excavators were handed over to the police by the DCE , Mr Kwasi Bonzo, or any other person from the assembly.

“We therefore, urge the public to disregard the publication and treat it with the contempt as it deserves. Meanwhile, the DCE, his personal assistant and one other are being investigated in connection with the alleged mission excavators,” she added.

The police again, assured the public that anybody implicated in the course of the investigations will be taken through the due processes of the law.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI

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