Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA
Takoradi, June 5, GNA – A total of 10 illegal miners including one Chinese national have been arrested by the Central Forward Operating Base of Operation Vanguard in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality.
They are Joe Afful, Yaw Boakye, Kofi Osei, Antwi Nicholas, Talata Gangiba, Emmanuel Coffie and Mustapha Demon.
The taskforce on their regular patrols came across heaps of sand and gravels with some individuals seriously working with excavators.
The team then moved in and apprehended seven of the illegal miners.
Following the arrest, the taskforce also immobilized two excavators, some industrial water pumping machines and a washing plant on the site.
Squadron Leader Robinson Omane Agyei, Public Relations Officer said the seven suspects have been sent to the Dunkwa Atekyem Police Station for further investigation.
He said the Task force had earlier on arrested three other suspects who were working at an illegal mining site at Breman-Dominase.
He gave their names as; Wang, 50 years, who is of Chinese descent whereas Philip Fordjour, 26 and Duban Klayi, 22 are Ghanaians.
The PRO said the taskforce destroyed several items used by these miscreants in degrading the land which included two big water pumping machines and a washing plant as well as other mining equipment.
In addition, one Haojin motorbike and an excavator were also seized together with two control levers, control board, monitor as exhibits.
Meanwhile, the three suspects are also in the custody of the Atekyem Police for further investigations.
He said the Operation Vanguard (OV) Joint Task Force was not engaged in any acts of bribery, "OV will not allow few bad nuts within to tarnish the image of the Task Force and for that matter the Ghana Armed Forces."
He was unhappy with information that some military and police personnel and some civilians parading as National Security operatives and were going round taking bribes from illegal miners.
"We are warning any such individuals to desist from this fraudulent act before they are apprehended. Let us all help to fight against illegal mining.", he added.
He said the OV would continue to fight to protect the environment for the future generation.