General News of Thursday, 28 June 2012

Source: GNA

Three Spaniards caught in illegal mining

Three Spaniards and a Ghanaian have been arrested at Ekoso near Anyinam in the Eastern Region for mining illegally.

The names of the four suspects who are in police custody are being withheld until the completion of investigations by the police.

Investigations indicate that, the Ghanaian suspect acquired the mining concession and illegally transferred it to the Spaniards who have no working visa.

A search on the suspects led to the discovery of a Ghanaian driving license issued in 2012 to one of the Spaniards, valid for five year whiles his visa allowed him only 60 days stay in the country. The Ghanaian suspect claimed that it was issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

Another document found on the Spaniards showed that, they have registered a company in Ghana to export agriculture produce from the country.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Victor Smith said illegal mining would not be countenanced and anyone caught would be dealt with according to the laws of the country irrespective of his origin, creed, or colour.

He said the wanton destruction of land, water bodies and the entire environment in the region called for stringent measures in dealing with people involved in illegal mining.

The Akyem area in the Eastern Region have been badly hit with illegal mining to the extent that many lives are being lost daily due to uncovered pits left after the mining activities.

The Ghana water Company on many occasions have threatened to close down the water treatment plants situated at Kyebi and Osino serving greater part of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area because of the high cost of treating the water which has been highly contaminated by chemicals used in washing of the gold.**