Six illegal Chinese miners and two Ghanaians have been arrested by personnel of Operation Vanguard commissioned to keep surveillance in the area.
The arrests were made on Wednesday during land patrols by the Forward Operation Bases (FOBs) in the Ashanti Region and Central Region including Adumtia in the Amansie Central District of Ashanti Region.
The operation was led by Colonel Michael Ayisi Amoah, the National Taskforce Commander of Operation Vanguard.
According to him, the task force acted upon intelligence in a special operation to apprehend the suspects who are currently with the Jacobu Police District Headquarters.
In a briefing on the development, Colonel Ayisi Amoah indicated that 3 Excavator, 4 Changfan machines, 4 industrial Pump gun, 1 Generator were retrieved from the miners.
“They have adopted the strategy of creating obstacle beds around where they are working to make it difficult to chase them and make arrests but we used different approaches to breach those obstacles to apprehend them.”
Colonel Amoah urged residents to be on high alert on informing authorities about the illegal undertaking of foreign nationals. He also advised informants to remain tight-lipped when they make complaints to security service and remain under the radar to save themselves from impending harm by suspects.
In similar operations, the FOBs immobilised a changfan machine and two sanny excavators at Anyinam along the Brim River, Eastern Region and Asaase Bombesea in the Obuasi East District of the Ashanti Region.
Others include the arrest of eighteen suspected illegal miners; fourteen Ghanaians and four Chinese nationals in the Western and Ashanti Regions on Monday, July 9.
The government, in March 2017 placed a ban on illegal mining and small-scale mining activities following a strong wave of media campaign on the menace that has left many water bodies polluted and farmlands destroyed.
The decision has over the period attracted a backlash from small-scale miners who insist that they had licences and operated within the legal environmental requirements and that their rights had been trampled upon.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has however assured that within a short period, his government will put out a statement setting out a comprehensive roadmap, including the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining, to deal with, on a permanent basis, the grave threat of galamsey to the present and future health of Ghana.
The government’s grand plan towards ending illegal mining includes the establishment of district mining committees in mining areas across the country, the deployment of Operation Vanguard, fitting tracking devices in excavators used in mining districts, and the use of drone technology, among others.
Currently, over 200 drones have been procured to assist its fight against illegal mining across the country. The machines will be used to take live images in districts where the practice is rampant.