Thirteen persons have been arrested in the Dormaa East District of the Bono Region, for engaging in illegal mining, popularly called galamsey.
They were grabbed following a joint operation, involving personnel of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), National Investigation Bureau, Dormaa East District Police Command and Dormaa East Assembly Members.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Dormaa East, Emmanuel Kofi Agyeman, who briefed journalists after the operation, said the suspects were arrested at different locations in the district engaging in galamsey on Saturday.
He said at Supre, in the Dormaa Akwamu area, the suspects Atanga Kenneth, 25, Amalia Augustine, 23, Amalia Michael,20, Alameya Joshua, 20, and Akasoa Rosemary, 20, were arrested while actively engaging in Illegal mining along the Supre River.
Mr Agyeman, said similarly at Kotodwe, in Wamfie, Godfred Amoako, 24, and Adomah Jones, 30, were arrested when they were preparing to prospect for gold in a cocoa farm along the Apampramu river.
He said the owner of the cocoa farm, Hinneh Kwasi, 51, who was met on the farm, was also arrested.
The DCE said water pumping machine, four shovels, two pickaxes, six washing carpets, one black plastic basin, a metal bucket, containing a mixture of sand and water, three cutlasses and a pair of wellington boots believed to be implements used in their illegal activities were retrieved and confiscated.
Mr Agyeman said the suspects would be prosecuted, adding “We have launched an operation to deal with illegal mining in the district. By the end of November, we will ensure that all illegal miners are flushed out of the district. All those involved in the act will be dealt with.”
The District Security Council of Dormaa East has launched ‘operation end all forms of illegal mining now,’ with the aim of ‘clearing illegal miners’ from the area by the end of November, this year.
The campaign is also targeted at the financiers of illegal mining, landowners, who give out their lands for mining and landlords who rent their rooms to illegal miners.
Mr Agyeman announced these at a press conference in Accra to highlight the success story of the district with regard to illegal mining.
He said activities of illegal mining have been reduced to the barest minimum in the district.