CHINESE ILLEGAL MINERS TAKE COVER IN THE BUSH
8/17/2012 2:30:19 PM -
From Simmons YussifKewura, Kumasi
Twenty illegal Chinese miners at MansoNsiana in the Amansie West district of the Ashanti Region are said to have taken cover in the bush to avoid immigration officials who went for them at their illegal mining site.
Reports reaching The Chronicle revealed that seven of the Chinese were, however, seen at the site by the immigration officials, but were left off the hook, with a warning to voluntarily leave the place.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Immigration, Mr. Ebenezer Acquaah, admitted having met seven of the Chinese illegal miners, and six of them were escorted to Kumasi, leaving oneat the site to take care of their mining equipment.
According to Mr. Acquaah, black security officers for the Chinese and two police officials, have also been deployed to protect the equipment.
He, however, denied that the Chinese took to their heels upon seeing the immigration officials, saying his men did not furnish him with that information.
The Ashanti immigration boss disclosed that the operation was conducted following mounting tension at Nsiana town, between the Chinese nationals and the residents.
The decision to undertake the exercise became necessary after the District Security Committee (DISEC) meeting found it necessary to relocate the Chinese to Kumasi, to avoid any future clash.
The two Chinese mining sites at Nsiana include the one where the Chinese engaged the Chief and some citizens of the town in a fierce gun battle a month ago, and another one, currently under construction by the Chinese to begin their illegal mining operations.
Since the first riot, which led to the arrest of some fifteen illegal Chinese miners, according to some citizens of the area, every day some Chinese with heavy earth equipment are being moved to Nsiana for mining purposes.
The Ashanti Immigration boss could not tell The Chronicle whether the Chinese had resident and working permits.
According to him, since the arrest of the Chinese, their passports had been seized by the police, and this had led to the inability to establish whether they were legal or illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, the Chinese nationals who were arrested atNsiana recently, would re-appear before an Accra court on August 20, this year.
Following the influx of the Chinese 'galamsey' operators on a daily basis, residents of the area have been calling on the authorities to come to their aid to stop the wanton destruction of rivers and the environment, including farm produce and cash crops such as cocoa.
Nana GyamfiMensah Bonsu I, Pakyihene, in an interview with The Chronicle, said he personally had not met with the Chinese illegal miners, but information available to him, alleged that they (Chinese) had met with his counterpart chief of the area, Nana OpiahMensah, Wirempehene and the Chief of MansoMim.
According to Nana Mensah Bonsu, although the Wirempehene had refuted this allegation, he was yet to meet the people of Nsiana in order to get firsthand information, before he could inform the occupant of the Golden Stool, AsanteheneOtumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The Chronicle inquiries from the Mineral Commission revealed that no Ghanaian or Chinese had been issued a permit to mine in the area, an indication thatall those undertaking mining operations were only raping the resources of the state, and depriving it of billions of dollars.