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17.11.2007 Crime & Punishment

Galamsey Men Busted

By Daily Guide
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THE BRONG-Ahafo Regional Police Command, in a joint operation with the military, has arrested five persons suspected to be involved in illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, at Kenyasi in the Asutifi District.

The five were Yaw Koomson, 22; Sylvester Benpah, 30; and Patrick Siaw, aka Bashiru Gambo, 24.

The rest were Abdul Kadir, 50; and Emmanuel Ohene Gyan, 54.
Speaking to the press at the regional police headquarters, the Regional Deputy Commander of Police, Charles Tokor disclosed that Sylvester Benpah, who hails from Kenyasi, was arrested around Hwediem, driving an Opel Astra car loaded with 23 mini bags of substance suspected to be gold dust, while the others were arrested at different locations around Kenyasi under the Goaso division.

The five, he said, have since been put before the Sunyani Magistrate Court B presided over by Justice Albert Zoogah.
He noted that their pleas were not taken and have been remanded into prison custody to reappear on 22nd November, 2007.

Yaw Koomson, an indigene of Elmina in the Central Region, was said to have arrived in the area three weeks ago, while Emmanuel Ohene Gyan from Akuapem Mampong in the Eastern Region, Abdul Kadir from Takoradi in the Western Region, also invaded the area from their respective regions for various reasons.

The Deputy Police Commander took advantage of the opportunity given to advise the public against illegal mining activities since it obstructed mining companies in the catchment area.

He stated emphatically that his administration was going to sustain the operation to clamp down on galamsey operators in the region.

The Regional Police Commander, DCOP James Opong-Boanu, called on land owners who lease their lands to individuals for mining to be mindful of their acts since they were also flouting the law.

He noted that though the Minerals Commission allows small scale mining, interested persons were to obtain license from the Commission before they could operate.

The Regional Commander contended that land owners owned only what was on the surface of the land, stressing anything beneath it was for government to hold in trust for the people of Ghana.

He said if for any reason land owners would want to engage in mining, even though the land were theirs, they were required by law to acquire license.

Meanwhile, items such as rubber gallons, water hose, pipes and the Opel Astra car with registration number
GR9411U have been impounded by the police as exhibits.

From Rocklyn Antonio, Sunyani

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