General News of Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Police Close Galamsey Pits

Illegal gold mining pits created by ‘galamsey’ operators at Subriso, located about 40 kilometres from South-West of Tepa, the administrative capital of Ahafo Ano North District of the Ashanti region, have been closed.

The court ordered the police to shut down pits created by ‘galamsey’ operators after owners of the concession, Pelangio Ahafo (Ghana) Limited took legal action.

The illegal miners disrupted the prospecting activities and operations of Pelangio and looted gold worth millions of dollars.

The armed gold miners, some of whom are facing charges on trespassing and mining without license, dug several holes and mined unabated.

The three, Samuel Mintah, Justice Appiah aka Alhaji and Kwasi Adomako, all farmers, were said to have agreed with 12 others, currently at large, to mine in the concession of Pelangio Ahafo (Ghana ) Limited without authority.

The 12 are Kwadwo Akowuah, Emmanuel Boafo aka Asrewa, Kwadwo Afriyie, Adjei Mathias, Christiana Pomaah, Isaac Obeng, Kwame Duah aka Operator, Kwasi Agyeman, Kwame Ketewa and Osei Kwame aka Phobia.

The accused persons, who now face three counts of conspiracy, trespassing and mining without license, contrary to sections 23, 157 and 99(2((a) of the Criminal Offence Act and Act 703/2006, had unlawfully entered the concession of the company and illegally prospected for various quantities of gold quartz.

Police prosecutor, Chief Inspector A. A. Banafo, told the court that the accused persons are farmers while the complainant is the project manger of Pelangio Ahafo (Ghana) Limited.

On November 2, 2012, the illegal miners began mining on the company’s concession at Subriso.

According to him, the complainant reported the activities of the ‘galamsey’ operators to the police for necessary action to be taken.

Chief Inspector Banafo said the police, on receipt of the report, proceeded to the mining site and found about 50 galamsey operators including the accused persons prospecting for gold quartz.

They were warned to discontinue their activities and vacate from the site with their working implements and equipment, prosecution asserted.

He added that accused persons and their cohorts continued their illegal mining activities and also refused to honour the invitation of both the police and Omanhene of Manfo traditional area.

The accused persons, on January 5, 2013, conveyed CAT330 excavator to the mining site to boost their illegal activities, compelling the police officers, who were on surveillance, to arrest them.

After investigation the accused persons, Samuel Minta, Justice Appiah and Kwasi Adomako, were charged with the offence and arraigned before court.