General News of Saturday, 21 July 2012
Source: Daily Graphic
Following the exchange of fire between the youth of Manso-Nsiena in the Ashanti Region and suspected Chinese galamsey operators, the Police Administration has launched full-scale investigations into the activities of illegal miners in the country.
Consequently, it has tasked all regional, divisional, district and unit commanders to organise regular swoops in their respective jurisdictions to arrest, investigate and prosecute all illegal miners.
The administration has also ordered the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to take over the case of the clash between the youth and the Chinese and report back to it for further action.
In an interview in Accra, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, said the commanders had been authorised to carry out the directive without fear or favour.
He said the CID and the regional commanders would investigate Chinese companies or all companies involved in mining activities in the country to establish whether or not they were legal.
He said there was also the need to find out whether or not the Chinese companies and all other companies had the requisite authorisation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Minerals Commission and the Forestry Commission.
The IGP said the investigation would have to find out the source of the weapons which were used by the Chinese in the Manso-Nsiena shooting incident and whether or not they were legally acquired and licensed.
The investigation, he said, would establish whether or not the Chinese had gone through the necessary immigration processes.
He said the action of the police had become necessary because the regulatory authorities which were supposed to carry out the above were not doing that and so the police had to come in to ensure peace and security.
Mr Quaye said this year was an election year and all eyes had been focused on Ghana to once again showcase its democratic credentials and so all efforts were being made by the police to ensure peaceful elections.
On Thursday, there was exchange of gunfire when the youth of Manso-Nsiena in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region clashed with some Chinese suspected to be engaged in illegal mining operations.
The firing lasted for about 30 minutes before armed policemen arrived from Manso Nkwanta to save the situation from deteriorating further.
There was no casualties but nine Chinese have so far been arrested by the police to assist in investigations.**