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General News of Monday, 15 July 2019

Source: primenewsghana.com

Some locals are protecting illegal miners - Operation Vanguard

Illegal mining task force Operation Vanguard says their undercover investigations have revealed that some locals are protecting illegal miners in the various communities.

President Akufo Addo in 2017 set up Operation Vanguard which is a Military Police Joint Task Force (JTF) to combat the operation of galamsey,illegal mining in Ghana.

On Saturday, 13 July 2019, Operation Vanguard personnel in the Western region arrested 16 suspected Chinese illegal miners in Enchi Kwahu in the Aowin District together with five excavators they have been using in their operations.

Again, 34 other suspected illegal miners were arrested in the East Akim Municipality in the Eastern region on Friday.

The suspects, who were made up of both locals and foreigners were apprehended in the general area of Asiakwa.Nine of the suspects who were locals were handed over to civil police at Kibi for prosecution while the others – 16 Chinese, 22 Guinean and three Burkinabe nationals and the five excavators have been handed over to IMCIM for further action.

Speaking on Starr FM, the PRO of Operation Vanguard Captain Andrew Sowatey said some locals have resorted to providing safe havens for some illegal miners.

"Our Operations have uncovered that some of the locals have been providing safe haven for some of these illegal miners both local and foreign suspected illegal miners. The locals have rented out accommodation to them and sometimes protect them when we go out trying to gather information, confirm their whereabouts and apprehend them. Its something that has been happening and we have been trying to find a way around, its a challenge we have been facing".