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General News of Sunday, 29 April 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Illegal mining: Bribery, extortion claims untrue – Operation Vanguard

Anti-illegal mining security team, Operation Vanguard has rubbished as untenable allegations of extortion levelled against it.

The taskforce, which has arrested about 1155 illegal miners since it commenced operation in July 2017 has received scathing public criticism lately for allegedly extorting monies from some of the illegal miners in its custody.

The Eastern regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfour in December last year alleged that some illegal miners in the region are bribing members of the anti-illegal mining taskforce—a situation he said was hampering the fight against the scourge.

“The Vanguard people allow some of the youth in the region to bribe them, this is bad, and how can this go on…this is a serious issue” Mr. Darfour said at a function in the Eastern region.

The Public Relations Officer of the anti-illegal mining taskforce, Sqn Leader Robinson Omane Agyei disputed the claim in an exclusive interview with Empire news’ Emmanuel Ohene –Gyan.

“Whatever, they are saying is untrue,” he said “because in recent times we have arrested people who are impersonating us and so it might be that those are impersonators, not from Operation Vanguard.”

“For us,” he stressed “the work that the government has given to us is what we are doing and I’m not sure anybody is compromising [that].”

That notwithstanding, he challenged the public to provide any evidence which will lead to the arrest of the culprits.

“If there are such people among us we want to uproot them,” he said.