OPERATIVES OF National Security arrested 34 Chinese nationals on Monday after raiding some illegal mining sites in the Ashanti Region in an ongoing exercise to clamp down on illegal gold mining activities in the country.
The suspects, who were busily working with their excavators and other mining equipment as galamsey operators, were arrested within the concession of AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) at the Obuasi and Amansie Central areas .
The security operatives, made up of military, police and immigration personnel, raided the operation camps of the Chinese illegal miners that hover around the airstrip of AGA.
They were apprehended in villages such as Amamom, Akatakyereso, Abadwam and Nyankyerenekrom.
However, the names of the suspects whose activities have destroyed farmlands and water bodies, depriving people of important natural resources, were not made available for security reasons.
The security men carried out the operation to flush out alleged miscreants after the owners of the concession drew the attention of the authorities to the havoc being caused by the foreigners to the environment.
The Ashanti regional security liaison officer, Bempong Marfo, told DAILY GUIDE that the suspects had been taken to the immigration headquarters in Accra for processing and investigation.
He said the Chinese were seriously engaged in the illegal gold mining at various places at the time of their arrest.
According to him, the exercise was due to the rampant and careless illegal mining activities that lingered around the enclave of the country's gold deposit in the Ashanti Region.
Mr. Bempong said the exercise was to ensure that people operated within the laws of Ghana, irrespective of the nationals involved.
He however failed to give details of the National Security exercise except to say that the length of time of the exercise was predominantly based on what the officers on the ground found to be appropriate.
The latest arrest of Chinese galamsey operators comes after another mass arrest of 38 others at Akutuase, a village near Jacobu and its surrounding areas, by some personnel from the Obuasi Divisional Police Command.
The 41-member contingent also seized from the Chinese galamsey operators six pickups, three excavators and other mining equipment.
The names of the 38 people were given as Jin Yiyi, Wen Fu, Wen Hailu, Taw Hai Feng, Wen Zhou Yong, Chen Zhougzheng, Lu Dong Hu, Men mingxi, Lu Ham Re, Lu Jiam Yong, Li Jiam Heng and Qun Jun Nen.
Others were Qun Zheng Jum, Zhoug Fei, Wen Hai Shong, Qin Yi, Qinshan Hai, Wen Zhi Wei, Wen, Qiang Hair, Li Quan, Gan Gian Wu, and Wen Hai Siang.
The rest were Li Ke mim, Li Kao Jing, Liu Peng Xian, In Yuan, Qin Bao Xing, Li Xi ha, Quwei Hei Yong, Li Zheng, Shong Zhong guen, Wen Jina Xing, Miy Wey, Wen hai jiang, Wen gan tang, and Mung ist.
But this has since landed the officers involved into serious problem as they continuously face a series of enquiries for the operation.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Obuasi