The illegal miners
The Ghana Immigration Service, in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, has arrested 125 Nig?riennes engaged in illegal mining activities in Kyebi in the Eastern Region.
The suspects, including 23 minors and one elderly man, were arrested based on directives from the Eastern Regional Security Council.
ACOI Francis Palmdeti, Head of Public Affairs, in a release, said the suspects would be handed over to the Niger Embassy till their repatriation was effected.
He said the exercise which was conducted at five different locations within the Kyebi Zongo Township on the midnight of March, 10, 2014 was led by Assistant Controller of Immigration (ACOI) Kofi Boakye, Head of the GIS Enforcement Unit in Koforidua.
Mr Palmedeti said the exercise would continue till all illegal miners are flush out from the Eastern Region.
He said intelligence gathered revealed a growing number of West African nationals engaged in small-scale mining activities across the country, in blatant disregard of Ghana?s laws which prohibit foreigners from engaging in small-scale mining.
Mr Palmedeti said on December, 22, 2013, 101 Guineans and four Malians were also arrested for engaging in illegal mining at the Tinga forest reserve in the Bole-Bamboi District, by a team of security personnel.
He said the suspects were arraigned before court on December, 23, 2013 and were subsequently repatriated.
?The GIS wishes to caution nationals of Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) countries to desist from abusing the privileges granted under the ECOWAS protocol, by engaging in acts which are unlawful.
?It must be emphasized that small-scale mining is the preserve of Ghanaians to the exclusion of all foreigners,? he said.
By Cephas Larbi