Community members ransack, loot property of GPS mining firm

Some people have ransacked and stolen almost every movable item belonging to the Geo Professional Services Limited (GPS Ltd), a mining firm, at Tontokrom in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region. The exercise was carried out after four foreign managers of the GPS limited, were arrested on the orders of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu during his recent visit to some galamsey and mining sites in the region. A visit to the mining site by TV3 news saw most of the doors and windows to the offices and residential accommodation of the company removed and the frames chiseled out. The news team also saw glass windows and doors smashed, with documents as well as records of the staff members scattered all over the compound and rooms. There was no representative of the mining company at the deserted mining site at the time of visit to speak with the news team. TV3 however learnt some people from communities around the mining site attacked the company following the withdrawal of the military and police from the site. The military cum police were providing security for the company and their absence gave the attackers the opportunity to have a field day to operate since some of the communities around were even against their operations. This is not the first time communities around this company have attacked it. It will be recalled that somewhere 2003 residents attacked them and destroyed their structures and equipment. In a recently sustained fight against illegal mining, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu asked the company to stop operating .

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Interestingly, TV3 news team saw some of the residents who have taken over the mining pits of the company and were trying to mine. The Chief executive Officer of the Volunteers Against Environmental Degradation, Richard Addo, has however condemned the attack on the mining site . He said people cannot take the law into their hands. He was equally shocked by the environmental degradation in the area and blamed the company for irresponsible mining. Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Manso-Adubia, Yaw Frimpong, has debunked reports that the people from communities around were behind the looting and destruction of the company’s assets. He blamed the situation on the unannounced withdrawal of the police and military from the site  without the provision of any form of security. According to him, the issue at hand now is very unfortunate and promised to assist in finding those behind the act. By Benjamin Aidoo |TV3|]]>