‘Operation Vanguard’ taskforce arrests 294 illegal miners

Galamsey is threatening the country’s water bodies and environment, something that has led to a fight against the menace[/caption] Ghana’s anti-galamsey taskforce has within the last month arrested 294 illegal small scale miners operating in three regions of the country. The illegal miners were arrested in the Eastern, Ashanti and Western regions and the latest arrest on Monday was made up of 22 foreigners- 19 Chinese, one Burkinabe and one Nigerian. This was revealed Tuesday when the inter-ministerial taskforce led by the Defence and the Interior ministers paid a working visit to the taskforce at Tarkwa in the Western Region. The military-cum-police taskforce code-named “Operation Vanguard” was deployed on July 31 to the three regions to prevent the upsurge of illegal mining in the country that is destroying water bodies and the environment. The visit created a platform for the taskforce to channel voice out its challenges to the government. Members of the taskforce expressed disappointment at the way a section of the media have been falsely reporting on their activities, which they say is demoralizing them. They also called for quick prosecution of cases that are before court. Seized and destroyed equipment Meanwhile, a total of 23 excavators have so far been seized plus two floating machines, 108 water pumps, 11 vehilces, 11 generator sets, and 13 motorbikes. Also, 563 machines named Chanfan have been destroyed as well as six excavators. Marine Police needed Public Relations officer for the taskforce, Major Garba said the military needs the marine police to come on board to support the 4000-man taskforce to enable them effectively carryout their duties. He explained some areas they visit need the expertise of the marine police. They also called for an increase in the number of vehicles to enable them easily commute to other towns to carry out their operations across the country in subsequent operations. He explained that since their presence in these areas, 66 excavators have been voluntarily be moved to the urban areas, an indication that some galamseyers are complying with the government’s order. The taskforce was excited with the support given them so far by residents of the various towns visited so far. The ministers promised government’s support for the taskforce until the end of the fight.

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By Kwabena Adu-Gyamfi|TV3|3news.com|Ghana]]>