As part of the Akufo-Addo-led government’s commitment to purge illegal mining, widely known as galamsey from the country’s mining sector, the latest operation conducted by the Ghana Armed Forces has led to the arrest of 26 suspected illegal miners and destruction of 265 assorted illegal mining equipment.
This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Lands & Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at the Ministry of Information’s routine Ministers’ Press Briefing.
Addressing the media, George Mireku Duker said in order to keep the momentum of Operation Halt and also ensure recalcitrant illegal miners destroying the countries water bodies are brought to book, the National Security Council and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources tasked the Ghana Army to clear all illegal miners within the Western Region on Ankobra and its tributaries.
He further stated that the Southern Command was tasked to conduct follow up operations to clear illegal miners within the Western Region adding that this latest operation was dubbed Operation Halt II.
The deputy minister disclosed that the Operation Halt II was conducted by the Ghana Armed Forces from Saturday, December 4 to Monday, December 6, 2021. This operation, the Deputy Minister said, led the arrest of 26 suspected illegal miners.
He further indicated that a total of 265 assorted illegal mining equipment such as changfangs, excavators, generators, motorbikes among others were confiscated and subsequently destroyed by the team.
He said, “the operation was conducted from Saturday 4th of December to Monday, 6th December, 2021. During the period of the operation, a total of 265 assorted illegal mining items which were found within the red zone of 100m astride River Ankobra and its tributaries were destroyed.”
The 26 suspects , the deputy minister told the media, have been handed over to the Ghana Police Service for the country’s laws to deal with them.
“A total of 26 suspects were arrested and 1 motorbikes with 22 mobile phones for illegal mining were handed over to civil police of the District Police Station at Prestea in Wassa Akropong,” he noted.
He therefore commended the military for what he describes as a good job done indicating that the team will continue to embark on such operations to deal with the menace of galamsey in the country.