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General News of Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Three Chinese arrested for 'galamsey'

They were having lunch at the time of the arrest.

Three Chinese nationals have been arrested near Kyebi in the Eastern Region for engaging in illegal mining.

A surface mining equipment was found at the scene of a devastated parcel of land hedged by some farmlands. The suspects had built a make-shift structure using aluminium roofing sheets.

The Chinese were operating near a farm owned by NDC National Chairman Mr. Kofi Poturphy at Akyem Segyemaasi.

A combined team from the Ghana Police Service and the Mines and Agriculture Committee of the East Akyem Municipal Assembly arrested them Tuesday afternoon.

They were having lunch at the time of the arrest.

The Police are struggling to get a statement from the suspects because of the language barrier. The police are waiting for an interpreter, Joy News' Eastern regional correspondent Maxwell Kudakor has reported.

He however said the three, Sing, Leon and Sun, claimed to be service providers for a large scale Chinese mining company which reportedly owns a concession close by.

The Police say they are waiting for the owner of the concession to report and identify the suspects.

They were arrested along with one Ghanaian who gave his name as Douglas.

Government is waging a war on illegal mining which has caused severe destruction to land and water bodies.

The prospects of finding gold in a country of lax and weak mining regulation has proved irresistible for some foreigners mainly from Asia. Several have trooped into the country despite clear mining laws banning them from small scale mining.

The legal hurdle has done little to dissuade them from illegally mining damaging farm lands and destroying water sources.

In the most high-profile arrest, a Chinese woman Aisha Hueng believed to have powerful links to politicians was arrested May 8, 2017.

Last week, three Russians and a Ukrainian were arrested at Tontokrom in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region for 'galamsey' (illegal mining).

They have been dragged before the Accra Circuit Court charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and undertaking small-scale mining without a licence, contrary to Section 99 (2) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).