A soldier and two accomplices suspected to be posing as Operation Vanguard personnel, harassing and extorting money from civilians at Sekyere Atiwa West District, have been arrested by the Eastern Forward Operation Base (FOB) of the National Anti-Galamsey Task Force.
The Soldier – Private Bawa Kobore, of 5 Infantry Battalion, who is said to be on Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) duties at the Southern Command, Accra, was caught on Thursday, 21 November 2019, with an M16 assault rifle and fifteen rounds of 5.56 x 45mm NATO (bullets).
Private Bawa's accomplices were; Emmanuel Opoku from the Achimota Forestry Commission and Seth Tiboah, a bookman from Sekyere.
Information indicates that, three other suspects, including Private Baah Fredrick of 153 Armoured Regiment, a Military Police (MP) personnel, and a National Security personnel, both yet to be identified, took to their heels before the patrol team got to the scene.
The apprehended suspects are presently under investigation and would be put before court if found culpable, the FOB team noted.
The operation was conducted under the command of Officer Commanding (OC) FOB East, Major JM Baluo.
Two fake Operation Vanguard personnel arrested
Operation Vanguard in July 2019 arrested two persons who posed as members of the taskforce in the Ashanti and Western Regions.
The taskforce is responsible for ensuring that illegal mining activities taking place in any part of the country is stopped.
But some unscrupulous persons have since been taking advantage of the team's mandate to parade themselves as members and exploiting unsuspecting Ghanaians claiming to among other things, protect them from being arrested for undertaking illegal mining activities.
The Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard, Captain Andy Sowatey, who spoke to Citi News said the two persons were subsequently handed over to the police for investigation and possible prosecution.
“We are investigating two individuals we posed as Operation Vanguard Personnel. One of them was apprehended on 11th July. He was identified as Arnold Gyedu, 33 who has been handed to the Fomena Police [Ashanti Region] for investigations and Richard Nkrumah, 35, who was arrested at Bogoso Junction in the Western Region. We are on the lookout for them, we are doing our very best to limit the incidents of people claiming to be operating in the name of Operation Vanguard.”