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Minister accuses ECG of supplying electricity to illegal miners

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Tarkwa (WR), July 23,
GNA – The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has been criticised for supplying
electricity to Chinese illegal miners in Tarkwa in the Western Region.

Mr Benito Owusu-Bio,
the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has vowed to report the
officials of the ECG involved in the illegal connection to the Energy Ministry
for the law to deal with them.

“The ECG is
supposed to investigate before supplying electricity to any individual or
corporate entity and if the purpose for requesting for the power is illegal it
could decide not to provide the power,” he explained.

Mr Owusu-Bio was
interacting with the media when he led a taskforce to Efua Ata Kumponasi,
opposite the Tarkwa Senior High School, to arrest 10 Chinese who were illegally
mining in an abandoned mining tunnel.

The Deputy Minister
said the Ministry would not give up on the fight against galamsey despite the
tough time being given by some recalcitrant elements in the industry.

“We know there
are some illegal miners who are recalcitrant…therefore we are not also giving
up on the fight and the President has expressed deep commitment to this
cause,” he said.

The Deputy Minister
said the Chinese miners’ migration status would be investigated and also send
them to court for prosecution.

“We know there
are people who are saying the court processes delay but we’re not in a Kangaroo
court so we have to allow the due processes to take place as the axe of justice
grinds slowly,” he said.

“We all know the
Aisha Huan, the Russian and the Ukrainian cases are still in court and so we’re
sure justice would be served,” he noted.

The Chinese were
mining in the tunnel with live wires connected along the walls of the tunnel so
that anybody who tried to enter the pit would be electrocuted.

They had also
installed secret cameras inside the tunnel, which enabled them to monitor
activities outside.

The Deputy Minister
led the taskforce to the place upon a tip-off, which is 300 meters away from
the University of Mines and Technology, where he was taking part in a National
Validation Workshop on the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project.

The Minerals and
Mining Law does not permit foreigners to engage in small-scale mining.

However, some
Ghanaians have secured licences and recruited foreigners to engage in galamsey,
which had resulted in unbridled exploitation of the environment, for instance
pollution of water bodies and degradation of vegetation and farmlands.

GNA

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