Illegal Miners Bribing Operation Vanguard Members – E/R Minister
The Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfour has alleged that some illegal miners in the region are bribing members of the Operation Vanguard team, which is hampering the fight against galamsey.
According to Mr. Darfour, some of the miners who are able to pay monies demanded by members of the Operation Vanguard are left off the hook.
“The Vanguard people allow some of the youth in the region to bribe them, this is bad, how can this go on…this is a serious issue” Mr. Darfour said at a function in the Eastern region.
Mr. Darfour, however, acknowledged that the Operation Vanguard team has managed to arrest several illegal miners in a bid to stop galamsey.
“The Vanguard people have, however, done well. They have arrested a lot of people and most of them are in jail. They should not think of releasing their confiscated equipment,” Mr. Darfour added.
The joint military/police task-force set up to enforce the ban on illegal mining, to help save the environment, has so far arrested 362 suspected illegal miners including some Chinese nationals, and has seized a number of mining equipment.
The equipment include over 1,500 ‘chang fa’ and water pumping machines.
Twenty-four (24) of those arrested have been convicted by the courts with some of them sentenced to fines ranging from GH¢1,080.00 to GH¢6,000.00, while others have been jailed – doing between four and 18 months.
‘Operation Vanguard’ was officially inaugurated on July 31, to enforce the ban on illegal and small-scale mining across the country.