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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Operation vanguard arrest miners and seize equipments

The Operation Vanguard team has arrested some illegal miners along the Ayanfuri-Bibiani road in an operation led by the Commander, Colonel Michael Amoah Ayisi.

The operation involved personnel from Ashanti, Central and Eastern Forward Operating Bases (FOB).

Squadron Leader Robison Omane, the PRO told the GNA that some of the communities the operations were carried out include; Ayanfuri, Brofoyedu, Abora, Breman, Treposo, Dominase, Adaboe, Diaso all in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region.

The team also extended the operations to illegal mining sites in Bibiani Awaso in Sewfi Bibiani-Anhwaiso-Bekwai District of the Western Region.

According to him, the team immobilized 85 changfans, 19 industrial water pumping machines, 8 excavators, 15 washing plants as well as other mining equipment.

He said suspects and items seized have been handed over to the Atakyem Police station in Dunkwa-on-Offin for further investigations and possible prosecution.

"The various FOBs continued with operations at illegal mining sites within their Area of Responsibility. Ashanti FOB conducted operations in illegal mining sites at Basaanso and Tontokrom in the Amansie West District. The FOB immobilized over 150 changfans, 5 washing plants and seized other mining equipment."

He said the Eastern FOB arrested one illegal miner and confiscated 10 changfans, two water pumping machines at illegal mining sites at Asamama and Banso in the Atiwa District.

The Western FOB also conducted operations in illegal mining sites at Wassa Kumasi in the Amenfi East District and arrested two Ghanaians, a Togolese and seized one locally manufactured gun, eight cartridges, 10 changfans, 5 water pumping machines and 4 washing plants.

He mentioned that the suspects and items seized had been sent to Wassa Akropong Police Station for further investigation and possible prosecution.

According to him, the Central FOB conducted operations at illegal mining sites within the general area of Breman and Treposo in the Upper Denkyira West District and was able to immobilised 7 changfans, 4 water pumping machines and 3 washing plants.

Squadron Leader Agyei said the Operation Vanguard (OV) was very grateful to the general public for the providing information on illegal miners to the Joint Task Force.

"Let us all support to save the environment for today and the future. We ask the general public to take note of the new modus operandi the illegal miners were using and feed us with information on them. "

For instance, Illegal miners especially the Chinese have adopted a dangerous method of acquiring gold. Operation Vanguard's quest to flush out these illegal miners from the hinterlands, forest and backyards is yielding fruitful results. These illegal miners especially the Chinese are bringing the black soil (ore) into our communities, households and do the processing for gold in their bedrooms. They apply chemicals such as cyanide, mercury and others.

These chemicals are disposed off right in our immediate environment. Human, livestock, poultry, water, the air we breathe are all exposed to these chemicals. When living things come into contact with these chemicals it exposes them to various illnesses such as silicosis, silicon tuberculosis, pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), obstructive airways disease, occupational asthma, oral and/or nasal cavity erosions, diseases owing to ionising radiation, noise-induced hearing loss, whole body and hand-arm vibration syndrome, as well as repetitive strain injuries.

He, therefore, appealed to the general public to assist Operation Vanguard to save the environment of these dangerous chemicals.

"We entreat the public to feed us with information on where these Chinese illegal miners reside for proper monitoring to save our immediate environment."

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