In the Dormaa East District of the Bono Region, thirteen people have been detained for indulging in illicit mining, sometimes known as galamsey.
They were apprehended in a coordinated operation involving members of the Dormaa East Assembly, the National Investigation Bureau, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), and the Dormaa East District Police Command.
The suspects were detained at various sites in the district on Saturday while participating in galamsey, according to Emmanuel Kofi Agyeman, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Dormaa East, who briefed press after the operation.
The suspects, identified as Atanga Kenneth, 25, Amalia Augustine, 23, Amalia Michael, 20, Alameya Joshua, 20, and Akasoa Rosemary, 20, were detained at Supre, in the Dormaa Akwamu neighborhood, while actively participating in illegal mining near the Supre River, he claimed.
According to Mr. Agyeman, Godfred Amoako, 24, and Adomah Jones, 30, were detained as they prepared to prospect for gold on a cocoa farm near the Apampramu river in Kotodwe, Wamfie.
He claimed that Hinneh Kwasi, the farm’s 51-year-old owner, who was encountered there, had also been detained.
According to the DCE, items thought to be used in their unlawful activities—including a water pumping machine, four shovels, two pickaxes, six washing carpets, a black plastic basin, a metal bucket filled with sand and water, three cutlasses, and a pair of wellington boots—were retrieved and seized.
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 also targets those who provide financial support for illicit mining, as well as landowners who lease their properties to miners and landlords who let them stay in their properties.
At a press conference in Accra to emphasize the district’s progress in combating illegal mining, Mr. Agyeman made these announcements.
According to him, the district’s unlawful mining activities have been drastically scaled back.