Professor Frimpong-Boateng, Minster for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has revealed that only 10 percent of the 1,339 illegal miners arrested between July 2017 and June 2018 have been prosecuted.
Prof. Boateng said the taskforce seized and immobilized 614 excavators, 1,557 water pumping machines, 84 vehicles, 82 motor bikes and 5,739 dredging/mining equipment. A further, 112 fire arms and 2,359 ammunitions were also seized.
Speaking to the media in Accra last Thursday, the minister who also chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining unveiled a roadmap for lifting the ban on artisanal and small-scale mining. Government pointed out two broad areas of activity that will determine lifting the ban are (i) monitoring, compliance, enforcement and sanctioning of illegal mining activities, and (ii) reclamation of degraded lands.
To boost the morale of members of the Operation Vanguard team the Defense Minister, Dominic Nituwul, last year donated an amount of GHS34,000 on behalf of government to the contingents in the field.
It was earlier reported, that three members of the anti-galamsey taskforce, were under investigation for their alleged involvement in some illegal operations.
A statement signed by the Director of Public Relations of Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel E. Agrrey-Quashie, said the three together with other accomplices allegedly tried extorting money from some illegal miners in the Wassa Akropong area in the Western Region.
The statement further revealed that the soldiers involved had been suspended from their duties with Operation Vanguard.
Government, in July last year, launched the anti-galamsey taskforce ‘Operation Vanguard’, with some 400 hundred men drawn from the military and police services.
They were deployed to the Eastern, Ashanti and Western Regions following the prevalence of illegal and artisanal small-scale mining.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah