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Following a report by Daily Guide that some illegal miners (locally called galamseyers) are still at work at Wassa Manso in the Western Region, the police have raided the galamsey site.

Yesterday’s operation, initiated by the head of the Mpohor District Security Committee (DISEC), who is also the District Chief Executive (DCE), Ignatius Asaa Mensah, led to the arrest of one illegal miner.

Several of the galamseyers, who got wind of the law enforcers’ intended action, took to their heels and left their equipment behind.

When the police got to the mining site, they reportedly destroyed the various machines, popularly called chamfan, numbering about 20.

Other implements like shovels, buckets, containers and ore-bearing sand contained in sacks were taken to the police station as exhibits.

One of the illegal miners, Kwame Diaw, who could not look at his machines being set ablaze, quickly came out from his hideout to beg the police not to burn his machines. He was subsequently arrested.

Speaking to journalists, the suspect indicated that he could not continue his education when his father died in 1986 and that he had been doing the illegal mining for his daily bread.

According to him, that was the only work he could do, bragging that he had even employed about eight workers and pays them GH¢10.00 a day.

Asked whether he knew that the government had banned illegal mining activities, he answered in the affirmative and indicated that he had even decided to stop that business. He is currently in the custody of the Mpohor district police.

Later in an interview, the district chief executive indicated that as head of DISEC, it is his responsibility to ensure that the president’s resolve to halt illegal mining nationwide, is enforced.

“And so when I heard the news I quickly informed the police commander here to move in with his men to arrest the perpetrators. So I am waiting for their report but I have heard that some machines had been destroyed,” he added.

He gave the assurance that the police would continue to conduct swoops at suspected illegal mining sites to stop the practice.

It would be recalled that in yesterday’s edition of Daily Guide, it was reported that some illegal miners were still in the illegal business at Wassa Manso.

According to the report, as a result of the activities of the galamseyers, commercial sex workers and drug peddlers, purportedly from Nigeria, had invaded the farming community to ply their trade.

Some of the residents alleged that the galamsey operators had erected sheds, popularly called ghettos, and could be seen smoking what is suspected to be Indian hemp, in the full glare of community folks, including children.

The town committee chairman, Emmanuel Duaw, bemoaned the activities of galamseyers and the sex workers and stressed that if action was not taken immediately to curb the menace, the entire community would be adversely affected.

Gyaasehene of Wassa Manso, Nana Kojo Tandoh, indicated that the traditional authorities were aware of the illegal mining activities in the community and were working with the necessary authorities to get those involved arrested.
Source: Daily Guide

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