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Two Chinese males have been arrested by the Wassa East District Security Council for doing illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) at Patatwumso in the Western Region.
The security operatives pounced on them at their residence in Ateiku, about 10 kilometres from the mining site.
The Chinese suspects had fled an earlier attempt to arrest them by the Operation Vanguad team following intelligence gathered on their illegal operations by the District Police Command and the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).
Through the cooperation of DISEC and the national team, the Chinese got arrested in their hideout.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said at a meeting with Regional Ministers at the Jubilee House that “given all that has happened so far with respect to the issues to do with small-scale mining, we are now at a crossroads”.
“In other words, we have had a consultative national dialogue and have put in some arrangements to regulate small-scale mining and end the issue of galamsey once and for all in the interest of the nation”, he said.
Recently, President Nana Akufo-Addo said his fight against illegal small-scale mining will not be based on hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations.
At the national dialogue on small-scale mining in Accra on Wednesday, 14 April 2021, President Akufo-Addo, who has been criticised in the past for letting some of his appointees, who have been accused of aiding and abetting galamsey activities go scot-free, said he will only act on such whistle-blowing based on evidence.
“I’m determined to enforce the laws of illegal mining no matter the subject – high or low”, the President said.
“I’ll, however, not act on hearsay or mere allegations without more”, he noted.
However, he added: “I will not hesitate to act, though, when the evidence is hard before the police and I would do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved”.
That, according to him, “is the true meaning of equality before the law”.
Mr Akufo-Addo also said: “I want to build on the modest progress made in my first term”.
“I want to learn from our shortcomings and receive productive input from this forum for purposes of enhancing the regulation of the sector”, he noted.
He said: “Out of this consultative dialogue, I hope we’ll build a national consensus around a national policy on small-scale mining”.
Hopefully, he noted, “at the end of the day, we should be able to build a broad-based national consensus around the necessity to stamp out the menace of illegal small-scale mining and the need to support and grow a responsible small-scale mining”.