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4 illegal miners arrested in Bosomtwe District

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As the government prepares to launch the second phase of the anti-galamsey fight, defiant people continue to ravage the environment.

They are so determined to mine the precious metals illegally that they have resolved to work only at night to evade security agencies.

Four people, one of them with partial visual impairment, are in police grips in the Ashanti Region for breaching a ban on illegal mining.

The Bosomtwe District Command picked them up in a special operation by the local assembly.

A swoop early Monday morning at Amakom and Beposo led to the arrest of the suspects.

They are 22-year old Kwaku Akwaboah, Kwadwo Amankwaa, 55, Yaw Opoku-45 and Sofiah Salifu, 24.

Police seized water pumping machines, Champhi machine engines and other equipment during the operation.

Officials of the Bosomtwe District Assembly say thousands of hectares of farmland are under siege as a result of galamsey activities.

In spite of the ban, illegal mining continues at Amakom, Beposo, Aduabin and other communities.

The nabbed miners were using excavators and other equipment to undertake their activities despite reports that some heavy equipment used in the mining process has been seized by government.

A joint police team from the Regional Special Weapons and Tactics Unit and Asokwa Divisional Command, however, made headway in the latest swoop.

District Chief Executive, Joseph Asuming, led the operation. He tells Nhyira FM the rate of environmental degradation caused by illegal miners is devastating.

“There is so much environmental degradation. The land cannot be used for anything until we do serious reclamation and with the miners, they operate in the dark; they operate behind everybody. They operate in the night when everybody is asleep,” he complained.

Mr Asuming said lives are under threat as pits left uncovered have become death traps.

“People can easily fall into them especially kids so they are death traps,” he said.

One of the suspects, 55-year old partially blind Kwadwo Amankwaa quit farming years ago to engage in the illegality at Beposo.

He tells me he makes at least Gh¢30 daily from illegal mining.

Kwadwo says though he is aware of the ban on illegal mining, he thought it applies only to Chinese nationals.

Mr Asuming says the Assembly will continue the relentless fight on illegal mining.

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