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14 July 2017

Photos: Teenager among six suspects arrested for ‘galamsey’ in Mphor

Six youth have been arrested in the Mpohor district of  the Western region for engaging in illegal mining.

The six all under 30-years also include a teenager, Sabina Kwesi 18.

Confirming the arrest to Myjoyonline.com, the District Chief Executive Ignatius Asaah Mensah explained a taskforce stormed their location at  Ayiem following a tip-off.

The taskforce found mining equipment sitting in the River Subri and rRiver Butre, which had turned brownish following years of illegal activities.

galamsey suspects

The five others arrested are Clement Fosu 27, Paul Sissie 21, Isaac Larbi 29, Emmanuel Godzo 29, and Rafael Lewu 27.

galamsey suspects

They were allegedly mining along a stretch of cocoa farms.

Mpohor with more than 40,000 residents has an agrarian economy with a rainfall pattern very supportive of agricultural activities.

Cocoa and oil palm farming is an important activity there but a get-rich-quick fad has seen an escalation in illegal mining.

“They go [into the bush] today, they come home with money”, he said and praised a de-escalation of the menace since the government clamp down three months ago.

“It used to be very endemic but now it has gone down” the DCE said. There are suspicions that the six came into the district from places as far as the Volta region.

The DCE said the arrest is the first in the district since the clampdown began more than three months ago.

Ignatius Mensah shared the difficulties the task force faces in apprehending the miners because they have also set up inteliigence-gathering that enables them to evade arrest.

Unlike the President who has been threatened with electoral consequences for the clamp down, the DCE said the District’s fight against the menace enjoys considerable local support.

He said farmers have lamented the clandestine destruction of cocoa trees courtesy the illegal miners. The residents, he said, complain about the contamination of water sources.  

The suspects are expected to be arraigned at a circuit court in Takoradi in the Western region.

galamsey suspects

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