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Ghana News

Small-scale mining task force arrest 3 Yemenis at Oda

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Martin Ayisi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, said that three Yemenis were detained on May 1 by the small-scale mining task force at Oda.

He said that the Commission had asked the police to take the appropriate actions to bring the offenders to justice.

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“Just this Monday, the holiday, the small-scale task force and the Minerals Commission office at Oda arrested three Yemenis and then impounded two excavators, which are now parked at the police station.”

However, Mr. Ayisi also stated that following the arrest, the local chief went to the task force’s office and claimed ownership of the mining site that the Yemenis were utilizing.

He said to Samson Lardey Anyenini, the presenter of Newsfile, “Then a chief showed up, says, ‘ɛha yɛ medeɛ—this is my site.'”

“So quickly, the police arrested them. The locals who were working fled. They’ve been arrested. We got the authorities involved. I think they’ve been granted a police inquiry bill.”

The fight against galamsey, Mr. Ayisi continued, appeared to be backwards because powerful people in society were involved. He added that if people like the chief are not prosecuted and subjected to the full force of the law, the public will perceive them as enjoying impunity.

He noted that this notion would lead people to assume that they can get away with their crimes if they indulge in galamsey.

Although he claimed that the sanctions and penalty regimes were harsh, he emphasized that for them to be successful, they needed to be severe.

Mr. Ayisi stated that if the perpetrators of galamsey are apprehended, especially the powerful individuals, they should be publicly shamed and imprisoned to dissuade other citizens from participating.

“So, for instance, this chief, if he’s convicted by the court in Oda and is put in jail and is well publicized … then you are sending a strong signal to everybody that, hey, you can go to jail,” he stressed.

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