Kwame Ato Asare Ani, the ringleader of the Axim illegal mining group captured in a viral video in confrontation with some policemen of the Axim Division in the Western Region has blew the cover on the alleged illegal activities of the police.
Kwame Asare has been singing like canary bird exposing how the police have been using him to perpetrate illegality by aiding illegal mining activities in the area.
Speaking from his hideout on United Television (UTV), Kwame Asare gave details on the circumstances which led to the standoff with some police officers in a bush.
He denied ever attacking the police neither is he an armed robber as described by the Ghana Police Service.
The galamsey ringleader speaking via telephone indicated he is rather an informant and liaison to the police in Axim.
According to him, he has been working with the police as an informant and a liaison between the police and some illegal miners in the area for a period of over a year.
He stated that aside collecting money from illegal miners on behalf of the police, he and his gang has also been providing security and fighting criminals in the area with the support and approval of the police as the police has provided him with a gun to protect himself.
Touching on the circumstances leading to his fallout with the police as seen in the video in circulation, Kwame Asare explained that he received calls from the police in Axim about illegal mining activities in the area and the need for him to ensure they pay before they start.
He said the illegal miners made payment of an amount GHC100,000.00 but failed to deliver the money to the police after he felt being cheated by the police in previous deals.
“The people in the town I live, all know that I work with the police. Police officers troop to my house at least five times in a day just to come and receive monies. Sometimes they don’t leave if they don’t see me. When I am even not around they wait for me. I give them money all the time.
“The actual reason the police are after me is that they sent me to collect one billion (GH₵100,000) from a site at Kwakukrom but I refused to hand over the money to them. That is the reason why they are angry with me.
“I didn’t give the money because I felt cheated after working with them all this while. They were only giving me small sums of thousand or two thousand every time. Can you imagine that one day I collected GHC30,000 from a site and sent it to the police and they gave me and my team only GHC2,000 to share. This provoked me that is why I also decided not to give them the GHC100,000.
“It is because of the one billion I took and failed to give to them that they are accusing me of being a robber. But I am not an armed robber, nobody can prove that I have ever robbed their site. Sarfo (Axim Police Commander) told me to bring the one billion before they will release my car and other machines which they have seized,” he said.
This comes after DGN Online reported on Sunday, April 2, 2023, about a viral video in which some civilians were seen accosting a police officer and accusing the officer of attempting to arrest them after they had given them money.
In the said video, the leader of the gang is heard shouting at a group of police officers saying “You asked me to show you something and I showed it to you. Now I ask you to drop me from the car and you insist that you are sending me away. Where were you sending me to? You came to demand money at the site and we gave you everything. After that, I asked you to drop me from the car and yet you insisted on sending me. So, if I had not asked someone to block the road with a motorbike you would have sent me away,” the gang leader is heard furiously confronting a member of a group of police officers with a patrol car in what looked like a forest.
As the confrontation raged on, the leader of the gang is heard shouting various commands at his group while the police officers bent on their knees pleading.
“Kwame we beg you,” one of the officers states as he held on to his rifle from being taken away from him by the gang leader.
As a result, the Ghana Police Service later Sunday released a statement which said it arrested some four men on March 28 after the Axim Divisional Police Patrol Team reported an attack on them by a gang.
According to the police, it also conducted a search at the residence of Kwame Asare where some weapons and other items were retrieved.
“On March 9, this year, the Axim Divisional Police patrol team reported an attack on the team by a gang that seized the magazine of a Service rifle together with some mobile phones belonging to the Police officers.
“An intelligence operation was immediately launched after the report to get the suspects arrested.
“On March 28, 2023, after about three weeks of the intelligence operation, four men, Kojo Siah alias Mozey; Emmanuel Mensah alias Kofi Asamoah, Maxwell Cudjoe and Agyabu Haruna Dissawu were arrested for their suspected involvement in the attack.
“A search conducted at the residence of Kwame Ato Asare Ani, the prime suspect, who is still on the run, led to the retrieval of three pump-action shotguns.
“Also, one pump-action shotgun, machetes and eight BB refilled cartridges were retrieved from the suspect’s unregistered Honda CRV vehicle. Other items retrieved from the suspects include two live refilled BB cartridges and one unregistered motorbike,” the police statement said.
The statement continued that the police became aware of the video showing the confrontation between some police officers and the arrested gang in which the police were pleading with the gang members over an extortion allegation.
According to the statement, the allegation of extortion has since been referred to the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) for investigation.
However, the statement issued by the police appears not supporting the story in the video as a section of the public have accused the police of attempting to cover-up on the fact of the matter instead of interdicting the officers in the video.
By Vincent Kubi