Crime & Punishment of Monday, 8 April 2013
Five Chinese illegal small scale miners (Galamsey operators) were arrested by the Eastern Regional Police Command at Sarkonadese in the Atiwa District at the weekend.
The five whose names were given as Han Jun, 38, Meng Guang Heng, 64, Lu Hibo, 42, Zhang Bao, 30 and Xia Zhi, 50, were arrested at the camp where they had built houses and mounted their mining equipment.
Nine others whose identities are not yet known are currently on the run. The unannounced swoop was embarked upon following a tip off the Police received from an informant.
The police also seized mining equipment which included generators, a pay loader and three excavators.
Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, Eastern Regional Minister, who visited the site expressed worry that foreigners had taken over galamsey operations in the area and said she is going to do everything possible to halt their activities.
She said she would immediately form a formidable task force which would include the army to check the situation.
“I am going to partner with stakeholders to clamp down on these foreigners who would want to destroy our natural resources. My administration will see to it that galamsey ends in this region,” she said.
The Regional Minister said the illegal activity poses a danger to the residents when pits are left uncovered and also left the people with no good source of drinking water.
Ms Ntoso said she would organise stakeholders meeting which would include the chiefs of affected communities and educate them on the need to protect their lands from such activities.
Superintendent Jeff Darko, the District Police Commander called on the communities to feed his outfit with any information about the galamsey operators on the run.