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Establish galamsey courts to prosecute offenders – Security expert

Galamsey site
A typical galamsey site

Security analyst Adam Bonah has called on government to establish special galamsey courts to hear and prosecute persons found mining illegally.

According to him, the lack of such courts has contributed to a lot of offenders being left off the hook.

Speaking on TV3‘s New Day on Saturday, Adam Bonah said he was hopeful government would have put in place long-term measures to deal with the issue of illegal mining prior to placing a ban on those activities.

“I was expecting that over the period, we should have put in structures to ensure that, you know, before the ban is lifted certain structures would have been put in place, but I’m yet to see that.

“I was expecting to see a galamsey court, for instance,” he stated, “you know we have the motor court, and it is swift. But we are still putting these suspected ‘galamseyers’ who are arrested through the normal court, and so we don’t normally have judges who are trained to deal with these issues, we don’t have them,” Mr. Bonah complained.

This, he further stated, has in one way or the other made the work of Operation Vanguard, the task force established to arrest offenders, difficult.

“You hear statements from the Operation Vanguard team that we have arrested 1,000 so and so, and less than 10% has been prosecuted.”

He suggested that proper structures should have been established while the ban on illegal mining is still ongoing.

Government placed a ban on illegal mining activities in 2017, when the Akufo-Addo-led government took office.

Despite calls from some persons for the ban to be lifted, then Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu postponed the lifting of the ban, stating that there were still people engaged in the act.

On Thursday, August 16, 2018, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng said there are plans to lift the ban soon.

READ: Gov’t finally to lift ban on small-scale mining

Speaking on the issue of the lifting of the ban, Adam Bonah said government ought to embark on proper consultation before lifting the ban.

“We need a lot of consultation. What sort of device are we putting in? What sort of monitoring are we doing? There is mining in the US, but you see, what you go through to mine, the regime…If government wants to do proper work, a lot of consultation ought to be done.

“When we talk about using drones, I will want to know what type of drones we [will be] using because we are talking about drones that we can probably not buy,” he said.

According to him, government ought to get the public involved in the fight against illegal mining.

He further urged government to ensure that the right structures and measures are established to clamp down on illegal mining permanently.

By Irene Amesimeku| 3news.com| Ghana

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