- There have been calls that illegal miners must be punished by firing squad
- The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation stated that the government will do what it pleases with seized galamsey equipment
- Some excavators have already been destroyed
OUR MANIFESTO: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in
The illegal miners arrested in the Atewa Forest mining say the presidency commissioned them to mine in the forest.
They made the bombshell disclosure on Monday, May 24, 2021, after the Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’ denied them bail, StarrFM.com.gh reported.
“You sent us to Ayawaso in the 2020 elections, you sent us to Kumasi to make a show. But today you are calling us thieves,” they stated, according to the report.
“Meanwhile,” they added, “it is the office of the President that sent us to the Atewa Forest. NPP is not a good party. We will show them.”
The 32 accused persons were denied bail by the court presided by Her Honour, Mercy Addei Kotei, and remanded into police custody to reappear on June 8, 2021.
They are George Asante, Kwaku Frimpong, Alfred Kyei, Yaw Opoku, Richard Nartey, Paul Osei Kuffour, Dominic Beblie, Samuel Kofi Edusei, Silas Boakye Gyan, Joseph Oduro Asare and Mukaila Attah.
The rest are; Stephen Opoku, Michael Quansah, Derrick Adu Kwakye, Razark Suleman, Stephen Kofi Felan, Dominic Ghansah, Robert Nartey Tetteh, Eric Addei, Yakubu Mohammed@ Jordan 1 and Benlord Abebio@ Commander.
The denial of bail followed the request by the prosecution for them to be remanded to enable the police to conduct further investigation into the names they mentioned.
Some 28 excavators and 267 chan fans seized from illegal small-scale miners in the River Pra in the Eastern Region have been destroyed by the Operation Halt II team, YEN.com.gh earlier reported.
The team also destroyed 18 water pumping machines, 2 industrial machines, 18 generator sets, 10 plastic chairs, 5 canoes, 1 wooden accommodation, 8 industrial batteries, 1 platform, and 21 new pumping machines, Classfmonline reported.
Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, said a total of 476 chan fans were destroyed in the past week.
The minister disclosed this on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, when he addressed the media about the operation.
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) commenced the second phase of Operation Halt II on May 7, 2021.
Operation Halt II aims at removing all persons and logistics involved in mining on water bodies.
President Akufo-Addo gave an order for the deployment of soldiers to mining areas to clamp down on activities by illegal miners.
The soldiers, numbering 200 were poled together to undertake this operation which started on Wednesday morning, April 28, 2021, at 6 am.
The deployed soldiers were expected to remove all those engaging in the illegal act and also destroy the logistics involved in mining from Ghana’s water bodies.