Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners has arrested 29 illegal miners operating in the Kwaebibirim Municipality of the Eastern Region.
The illegal miners who were arrested in a swoop at 3 separate sites at Akyem Pramkese and Akyem Abodom had destroyed several acres of cocoa and palm plantations belonging to innocent farmers.
When the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners taskforce zoomed in on them at a site, the illegal miners had diverted the flow of the Birim River and were mining in it.
Some of the illegal miners managed to swim across the Birim river to the other side to escape being arrested.
Others who were arrested were initially kept at the Pramkese police station before being transported to the Kibi Divisional Police command where they will be processed for court.
Two pump action guns were retrieved from the illegal miners.
The commanding officer in charge of the taskforce, Major Patrick Don-Chebe who spoke to Citi News about today’s exercise expressed frustration with the interference of some politicians and opinion leaders.
“It’s been very successful, we have been able to arrest some illegal miners, and we have detained them at the Pramkese police station. We will take them to Kibi for further investigations. There are big men involved in illegal mining and when we get them, we will publish their names. There are others too who keep interfering in our work when we make arrests,” Major Don-Chebe said.
Some farmers in the area who commended the efforts of the taskforce raised concerns about how their farmlands are forcefully being taken away from them by illegal miners.
“It’s difficult to have potable water here, we are unable to voice our frustrations. They should keep arresting illegal miners,” he stated.
“They have been destroying our farmlands. They have destroyed my palm oil plantations. We want the government to stop them from engaging in galamsey,” Kofi Asaga, another farmer said.