A Military anti-galamsey taskforce, Operation Halt II, has arrested 164 suspected illegal miners at Anyinam and Mampong in the Eastern Region on Thursday.
The swoop forms part of the government’s rejuvenated and renewed fight against illegal mining.
Speaking to the press after the suspects were brought to Accra for processing and prosecution, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining, Mr George Mireku Duker, praised the taskforce for acting quickly on the Ministry’s directive to crack down on illegal small-scale mining activities by both locals and foreign nationals.
He assured that they would be handed over to the police and relevant authorities for processing and prosecution.
“We asked the security agencies to conduct a massive operation to get these foreign nationals who have invaded our environment. These are people from neighbouring countries who have invaded mining concessions near river bodies in this country,” he said.
“They also have people who are providing other services. One of them confessed that she is happy they have been arrested as she was trafficked to Ghana. We will hand them over to the appropriate authorities for them to take the necessary actions.”
Mr Duker warned adamant individuals and groups involved in illegal mining to stop their harmful activities, promising that if they were apprehended, the law would take its full course.
The 164 suspects comprise 159 males and 5 females, local and foreign Nationals from Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Ivory Coast.
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD