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04 July 2017

I wasn’t aware of galamsey activities – Prestea DCE

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Prestea-Huni Valley in the Western Region, Mozart Kwaku Owu has revealed that the presence of illegal miners in the area came as a surprise to him.

Speaking in the aftermath of the deaths of about 14 persons who died in an illegal mining pit on Monday, Mr. Owu stated that the area where the incident happened had been searched two weeks ago as part of a crackdown against illegal miners.

According to him, there was no indication that there had been any galamsey activity in the vicinity prior to the incident.

“We were never aware of it, I’m even surprised there was something like that. We had an [exercise] just two weeks ago on these illegal mining issues,” he told Citi News.

“And we combed the site and so I’m surprised about that place. It’s a very critical issue and it’s unfortunate this happened. But everything is under control.”

File photo

File photo

‘DISEC in control’

Following the death of the people, the police in the Western Region have declared the owners of the pit wanted.

17 people were believed to have been trapped in the pit while five others, who managed to escape unhurt, are assisting the Police with investigations.

Mr. Owu insisted that despite not being aware of the activities, the District Security Committee had taken control of the matter and were proceeding with their investigations.

“I’ve instructed my District Coordinating Director as well as the District Police Commander to take charge of investigations. The District Coordinating Director, the Divisional Police Commander, the District Police Commander, the District BNI Commander are there. In short, DISEC is in control of the situation and I coordinate with them from here.

“It’s a very critical issue and it’s unfortunate this happened. But everything is under control.”

 

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