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General News of Sunday, 7 April 2013

Source: XYZ

GIS boss accused of protecting illegal Chinese miners

A pressure group calling itself Mass Action Committee (MAC), has accused the Director of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) DCOP Dr. Peter Wiredu and his Deputy of “clandestinely” supporting illegal mining activities of some Chinese in Ghana.

The group, in a press statement said: “We have discovered that many entry visas or entry permits of some Chinese workers who are now engaged in illegal mining have been endorsed or caused to be endorsed by the Director of the Service”.

It said: “After creating this mess, this man and others in cahoots with him in the service have unleashed national security and some military personnel on all Chinese including those he approved as legitimate to work in Ghana”.

The group says it views the national security-led operation to flush out all illegal Chinese miners in the country as a “desperate face-saving enterprise meant to cover up [the Director’s] own ill-considered actions”.

Its Spokesperson Atik Muhammed said: “This situation would not have arisen in the first place had these Chinese with no business in small scale mining not been granted entry visas by the GIS boss and his assigns”.

“It is in this connection that we find the actions of the GIS boss most repugnant,” the group said.

It claimed: “All kinds of companies with no documentation or any other entitlement whatsoever to engage the services of foreigners in their operations, have had the latitude and luxury of importing many illegal Chinese miners into the country with the help of the GIS boss and or his assigns”.

The group claims it has in its possession “copies of signed passports granting some of these Chinese engaged in mining one year resident’s permit”.

“This situation is intolerable and must be stopped before it spirals out of control,” the group charged and also called for a probe into the allegations.

Sack GIS Boss

It said Dr Wiredu’s term of contract has expired since March 6, 2013 and wonders why he is still at post.

The group said correspondences it has intercepted “between Dr. Wiredu and the GIS Board of Directors indicate that, he is asking for extension of his tenure to June”.

The group threatened that “any attempt to heed this ridiculous request by Dr. Wiredu will not be met by friendly smiles at all”.

The Immigration Service, in its latest swoop, arrested about 150 Chinese miners it said were in the country illegally and operating in the Ashanti, Western and Central regions.

Fifteen of them have been repatriated. The others were being investigated and are likely to be deported.

Some of them were workers of a local mining firm called HANSOL.

The firm’s Managing Director Daniel Antwi-Boasiako who doubles as the President of the Ghana-China Chamber of Commerce insisted all the arrested Chinese were duly certified by the GIS to work in Ghana.

However, the Public Affairs Director of the GIS, Francis Palmdetsi, told XYZ News that the documents of the arrested Chinese miners are fraudulent.