Fifty (50) suspected illegal miners – 16 Chinese, 22 Guineans, three Burkinabes and nine Ghanaians – were on Saturday rounded up from various illegal gold mining sites in the Western and Eastern regions by the joint security taskforce, Operation Vanguard.
The suspects and five excavators retrieved from them have been handed over to Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) for further action.
The nine Ghanaians were, however, handed over to the police for prosecution.
The operation by the anti-galamsey taskforce was carried out on Saturday, July, 13 2019.
Sixteen (16) of the suspects were arrested at Enchi in the Western North Region and five excavators they were using for their illegal activities were seized.
The 34 other suspected illegal miners were arrested in the East Akim Municipality in the Eastern Region.
The suspects, who were made up of both locals and foreigners, were apprehended in the general area of Asiakwa in the region.
Nine of the suspects who were locals were handed over to the police at Kibi for prosecution.
Though the taskforce has been receiving assistance through tip-offs from some locals, others have also resorted to providing safe havens for illegal miners, a statement from the taskforce said.
The statement continued, “These illegal miners have rented accommodations within various areas where galamsey is rampant and are wreaking havoc on our water bodies and forests”.
The statement called on the traditional leadership and locals to help flush out these unlicensed operators and their collaborators.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi