The Eastern Regional Police Command has arrested 10 people, including seven Chinese nationals, for allegedly carrying out illegal mining at Denkyira, a village near Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region.
The Chinese suspects were named Lou Hong Long, 37, Ji Lian Hong, 47, Li Ri Zhu 46, Lou Hong Heng 47, Gao Suba 43, Wu Shao Ling, 44, and Wu Enxing, 45, while their Ghanaian accomplices were also identified as Amaning Benjamin, 22, Raymond Ayambilla, 30, and Atta Dankwa, 31.
The police also confiscated some equipment from the suspects, including four excavators, three pump action guns and 68 cartridges.
The arrest of the suspects followed a swoop jointly carried out by the Eastern Regional Police Command and the Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF), led by the New Juaben Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent Mr Richerson Kumerkor.
Briefing the Daily Graphic in Koforidua yesterday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Eastern Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Ebenezer Tetteh, said the seven Chinese nationals and their Ghanaian counterparts were arrested at separate locations close to the galamsey sites.
Mr Tetteh added that the Chinese suspects, who were charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit crime, mining without license and possessing firearm, explosives and ammunitions, were arraigned before the Koforidua Circuit Court last Friday.
He stated that the court, presided over by Mr Kotei Adei, remanded the accused persons into police custody after the prosecutor had prayed the court to place them in custody to allow the police time to complete investigations into the activities of the accused persons, whose pleas were not taken.
According to Mr Tetteh, the three Ghanaian suspects, who were yet to be put before court, were currently in police custody.
War on galamsey
As part of the measures to curb the activities of illegal miners in the region, he hinted that the RDF would go all out to intensify its operations at various galamsey sites and arrest the operators.
“I must say that the incidence of galamsey activities is an existential threat in the Eastern Region. The activities of illegal miners are causing havoc both to the ecology, flora and fauna in the region. It is destroying water bodies and farmlands.”
Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional Police Command would liaise with the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to investigate the background of the Chinese to obtain information on their working permits and if it was established that they had breached the law, various systems of the Ghanaian laws would be activated for possible repatriation