One Chinese and three Togolese have been arrested together with two Ghanaians by Operation Vanguard’s Joint Task Force (JTF) at Broniamah, a community in the Amenfi Central District of the Western Region for indulging in illegal mining.
The suspects, identified as Lin Chanquo, 44-year-old Chinese, 28-year-old Kwame Musah, 48-year-old Kombete Kudjo, and 21-year-old Ano Nabro, all Togolese, were arrested together with 27-year-old Osumanu Yakubu from Tamale and 25-year-old Inusah Issah from Garu Tempane in the Upper East Region.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the JTF, Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Robinson Omane Agyei, told the media that the Operation Vanguard team chanced upon one immobilised Hyundai excavator with chassis number K3R000033 on the site and also seized one Liungong excavator with chassis number CLG0956DC052066 and conveyed them to the Wassa Amenfi District Assembly.
Other items seized by the team included one locally manufactured single barrel gun, one Toyota Hilux pickup truck with registration number GT 8131-13, one water pumping machine and eleven (11) mobile phones.
The PRO said the suspects, together with the seized items, were handed over to the Manso Amenfi Central police station for further investigations and possible prosecution.
Earlier, the Western Region Forward Operating Base (FOB) arrested 12 Ghanaians in the Furi Forest, Kutukrom in the Prestea Huni Valley District of the Region.
The FOB, he added grounded 12 excavators, seized other mining equipment and handed them over to the Prestea District Police Station for further investigation.
Sqn Ldr Omane Agyei said also that with these arrests, the total number of arrests stood at 1,205, with 5,134 changfa’s grounded, 74 vehicles and 78 motorbikes seized, 107 arms and 2,344 ammunition seized, 228 excavators seized with 312 immobilised and 432 water pumping machines seized with 977 grounded.
The JTF’s PRO said Operation Vanguard continues to perform its task diligently and expressed worry at some media propaganda to besmear the work of the taskforce.
“We have always been asking for evidence when allegations are made against the taskforce to be able to deal with the bad nuts amongst us. All we hear are allegations without evidence,” he added.
Sqn Ldr Omane Agyei stressed the need for total support to sanitise the mining sector for the benefit of all, “We also call on the support of well-meaning Ghanaians not to relent on giving credible information, we must save Ghana now for a better future.”
Story: Today Correspondent