General News of Monday, 11 February 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
The police in Bekwai have arrested a Chinese illegal miner who is alleged to have shot and wounded three Ghanaians with an AK 47 assault rifle.
The suspect, Xia Gui Xiang, who was arrested five days ago, has been remanded in police custody pending further investigations. His victims, who were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, are receiving emergency medical care.
The victims - identified as Kofi Bobie, Kwame Kyerematen and Kwaku Manu - were said to have been shot when they joined others from Manso Abodom in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region who had entered the camp of the Chinese, who was mining illegally on Finger Mining Limited's concession.
Another Chinese and two Ghanaians who were part of the group operating with Xiang have also been arrested for illegally mining on the same concession. The three, whose names were not immediately provided, have already been granted police enquiry bail, pending further investigations into their case.
The Chinese were alleged to have been mining illegally in the concessional area of Finger Mining limited, a small-scale mining company with legal rights for almost a year; a situation said to have created tension in the Abodom community and its environs.
Briefing journalists about the arrest, the Bekwai Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Kwasi Akomea-Apraku, said the youth from Abodom had, on Tuesday February 5, 2013, gathered at their chief's palace, complaining about the rate at which the Chinese had been mining illegally in the area.
He said the youth also alleged that the chief of the community had collected money from the Chinese and allowed them to operate illegally in their environment.
Mr Akomea-Apraku said from the chief's palace, they marched to the camp of the Chinese and allegedly started looting, taking away gold ore, black gold and some amount of money.
According to Chief Superintendent Akomea-Apraku, as the youth continued to ransack the camp, the Chinese alerted Xiang who was not at the camp at that time.
He said as soon as Xiang was notified about the presence of the youth in their camp, he quickly rushed there and fired at the youth, seriously injuring three of them.
Expressing concern about the situation, Chief Superintendent Akomea-Apraku urged the youth not to take the law into their hands, but always be mindful of collaborating with the law enforcement agencies any time they were aggrieved.
He said notwithstanding the circumstances leading to the shooting, the police would speed up their investigations and prosecute those found to have breached the law.