The Operation Vanguard contingent in the Eastern Region has arrested 31 foreign illegal miners in the Kwahu West Municipality.
This follows reports that about 1,000 foreign nationals had connived with cocoa farmers and landowners in the area to mine illegally.
The officer in charge of the Operation Vanguard team in the area, Major John Majeed Baluo said although some arrests have been made, the team is faced with many challenges in their operations.
“So far we’ve been able to arrest 31 of them. The operation is still ongoing and so far, the areas that we’ve conducted such operations are Abekoase, Abomosu, Bomso, and Akrade. These were conducted just last week.”
“There are some observations that we’ve made over the period. The first one is the loyalty of the locals towards these illegal miners. It will surprise you to know that before we even move and get to the site, our own people will call and tell them that the Vanguard personnel are on their way coming,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) is asking for help to clamp down on the resurgent illegal mining industry in the area.
Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Kwahu West, Yaw Owusu Addo who spoke to Citi News said the Assembly can do little about the situation and therefore needs external aid.
“We need help. Ours is happening after the major onslaught on galamsey. So, they’ve all now come here. You can find more than a thousand foreigners who have come here to besiege our town. There’s little we can do. They have metal detectors which make their work easier and once they detect it, there are troops to dig straight away and they make their gold and go away,” he lamented.