Soldiers shall hunt down all excavators in water bodies – Oppong Nkrumah

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Information Minister, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said persons who have excavators in water bodies will be dealt with by the military taskforce put in place to stop illegal small scale mining (Galamsey).

He told Dzifah Bampoh on the First Take on 3FM Tuesday May 25 that all persons who have excavators and changfan in water bodies are engaged in illegalities

The Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said “There is absolutely no basis to have excavator or a changfan machine out there in any river or stream anywhere in this country for any reason.

“In a water body or hundred meters from a water body is legally a no go area for mining.

“So all of these changfan machine that are being found out there are engaged in illegalities. All of these excavators in water bodies are engaged in illegalities.

“The Commander In chief of the Ghana Armed Forces has authorized the force to ensure that all person and logistics are removed. They have their own operational methods to ensure that they are removed, that they are mobilised in that space.

“So if you have an excavator in a water body or a changfan in a water body or hundred meters to a water body the soldiers will come for because you have no business being there.”

Last week structures belonging to Xtra-Gold Mining Limited have been burnt by the anti-galamsey military task force Operation Halt.

Reports indicated that the military allegedly assaulted security men on duty.

“They returned on Saturday, sprinkled patrol on the generator plant, and around our office facility and set fire into them.

“They burnt everything in the room including the Television set, DSTV decoder and our personal belongings,” an eye witness told journalists.

He said, “the security men were deployed by the Company to protect the site so people don’t come around to steal but they were beaten by the military with the butt of the rifles”.

Defence Minister Dominic Nituwl has said that any seized illegal small scale mining (galamsey) equipment will be destroyed on-site by the military officers deployed to the galamsey areas.

He said no gadget will be returned to Accra.

Addressing the media on Friday, April 30, he said “We are not seizing any equipment, no equipment will be returned home, they will all be destroyed on-site. No excavator, nothing will come back home.”

About 200 officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) on Wednesday morning began an operation to forcefully remove all persons and logistics involved in illegal mining on the country’s river bodies.

Source: 3news