A Joint Security Taskforce headed by the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Adansi Akrofuom, Honorable Maurice Jonas Woode has arrested 24 illegal miners operating at Sukuma Forest reserve at Pewodie near Grumesa in the Adansi Akrofuom District of the Ashanti Region.
The taskforce destroyed 16 Chanfan machines and over 200 tents.
Some 104 pumping machines and 11 gold detector machines were also seized from the miners.
The miners aged between 14 and 45 according to sources have been operating in the middle of the forest for a long time despite the ban on illegal mining in the country.
This is the second time in two weeks that the Akrofuom DCE has led a raid on illegal miners in the area after a similar exercise at Betenase.
This time, the Akrofuom DCE told this reporter that, “we had a tip-off that there has been fracas among illegal miners operating at Pawodie and Betenase. This prompted the District Security Council to map strategy to arrest them and halt their operations”.
Mr. Woode stated his resolve to go after illegal miners destroying water bodies and forest areas in the District. “We are leaving no stone unturned in clamping down on the activities of these illegal miners. We want these arrests and subsequent burning of mining equipment to serve as a deterrent to others”.
On his part, the Obuasi Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Joseph Nyaaba said the Security Taskforce is committed to nipping the activities of illegal miners in the bud. “83 Security personnel were involved in this operation. This is an indication of our preparedness to stop the activities of illegal miners “.
He cautioned that illegal miners who have defied the presidential orders banning illegal mining activities should quickly halt their operations since the Police will not relent in their resolve to come after them.
The Assistant District Manager of the Forestry Commission, Bekwai Division Palmer Aikins Amponsah also assured that the Commission will let their guards down in fighting activities of illegal miners in the area.