Ten suspects, five Ghanaians and five Chinese, who were arrested by the Western Regional Police Command, for allegedly engaging in illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey’ in River Ankobra, in the Bamianko corridor of Nzema East municipality of the Western Region, yesterday appeared before a Sekondi High Court.
Their pleas were, however, not taken, and the court presided by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, remanded them in prison custody to appear again on April 10.
The Chinese suspects were Dong Cheng, 30; Hung Jian, 51; Ning Guorui, 42; Yin Biquiang, 46 and Li Zilong, 44 while their five Ghanaian collaborators were Eric Owusu, 28; Kwabena Adjei, 50; Nana Adu, 42; Kwasi Owusu, 28 and Kofi Darko, 21.
After their arrest, they were arraigned before the Sekondi Magistrate Court presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante and remanded in police custody to appear again yesterday.
But, they were released by the magistrate court when they appeared in court yesterday, rearrested and arraigned before the High Court which remanded them for proceedings to continue.
On Monday, The Ghanaian Times reported that the 10 suspects were arrested along River Ankobra, as part of the resolve of the Western Police Command to stem illegal mining, which had assumed a devastating and worrying proportion in the region, and destroying the environment especially River Ankobra and River Pra, and other water bodies.
Police investigations indicated that the Chinese after mining and selling the gold to dealers, repatriate the proceeds to their home country (China).
“The operation is part of the resolve of the command to check illegal mining activities in the region and when we receive such complaints we act on them.” the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, told the Ghanaian Times at the weekend.
She said, at about 10am on Friday, March 24, the command, based on the information that some Chinese were mining on River Ankobra and polluting the entire river, policemen were dispatched from the headquarters in Sekondi to Bamianko/Duwale where they arrested the five Chinese and five Ghanaians.
ASP Adiku indicated that when the team arrived the illegal miners had mounted a huge motorised boat and busily mining deep inside River Ankobra and refining gold.
“Suspect stated that they sold their gold to one Wang Weng at Wassa Akropong in the Wassa Amenfi District of the Western Region only on March 23, but, the money had been transferred to China,” she added.
The Police PRO said investigations continued, assuring that the police would continue to work with its partners to flush galamsey operations from the areas they operated.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi