Five galamsey cases in court – Information Minister
The government has intensified its fight against illegal mining (galamsey) with five cases pending in court.
The Attorney General’s office is also preparing documents for more state-level prosecution against persons who have flouted mining regulations.
Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah disclosed this on June 2 and stated that one of the cases under prosecution is the Republic versus George Asante and 31 others.
“In this case, the earlier report came out because some National Security operatives have been arrested engaging in illegal mining elsewhere. It turns out that these persons are not National Security operatives,” he explained.
The Minister indicated that the accused persons were on May 11, 2021, but before the Koforidua Circuit Court B on two counts of provisional charges.
The charges are conspiracy to commit crime that is reconnaissance for mines minerals and reconnaissance for mines minerals without lawful authority.
The second case is the Republic versus Yang Maoji, a Chinese national who was arrested for mining illegally in the Pra River during routine patrol by the Operation Halt team.
The Republic versus Wei Gan and another is also a case that the government is pursuing.
This case involves two Chinese nationals who were arrested in Atieku near Tarkwa in the Amenfi West District in the Western Region.
The Republic versus Xue Linhua and two others is another case under prosecution.
This case involves two Chinese nationals and a Ghanaian who were arrested in Enchie in the Western Region illegally mining in forest reserves.
The last case, Mr. Nkrumah said is the Republic versus Xue Linhua and five others. This case involves 6 Chinese nationals who were arrested in Asankragua by National Security operatives.
They have since been arraigned before the Kaneshie District Court on provisional charges, including six counts of possession of firearms without lawful excuse.
Providing details on the phase four of Operation Halt II, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, said five persons have been arrested.
They include three Chinese and two Ghanaians, who are drivers of their Chinese counterparts.
He said 24 excavators, 24 341 chanfang machines and platforms, and 123 water-pumping machines have been burnt.
In addition, 30 wooding accommodation, 10 OMB, six generators, four grinding machines (for crushing rocks), and six motorbikes have been burnt.
The Defense Minister said the team had observed that people were moving excavators from the 100-radius zone to nearby communities upon hearing of the presence of Operation Halt.
“You pass by and you can see huge excavators standing in communities, but they have moved them out of the 100-radious zone. You get to a little community and there are about 20 excavators,” he said.
Mr Nitiwul said the government would halt all activities of persons that were causing destruction to the country’s forest reserves, water bodies and lands.
The fourth wave of the Operation Halt II involves removing all persons and logistics involved in mining from the Ankobra River, its tributaries and forest reserves.
A total of 401 men of all ranks from the Ghana Armed Forces have been deployed for this exercise.
Meanwhile, a two-time best vegetable farmer, Benjamin Afrane, has appealed to the government to divert all seized water pumps to farmers to assist in irrigation.
Mr Afrane believes that the water pumps, which are seized by the Operation Halt team, when given to vegetable farmers would promote an all-year-round productivity.
He activities made the appeal when a team from the European Union visited the Kwadaso Agric College under its “
The project is to help improve entrepreneurial and horticultural education and create jobs in the horticulture sector.