An investigation by the National Intelligence Bureau has revealed that 20 persons arrested for partaking in illegal mining in the Atewa forest are not national security operatives as purported by them.

The suspects who were wearing military uniforms, according to the Kade District manager of the forestry Commission, invaded the reserve in Akyem-Akateng onboard a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 with sophisticated rifles on the dawn of Tuesday under the guise of clamping down on illegal miners.

However, upon a thorough investigation, the suspects named a staff worker as the mastermind behind the illegality.

A press release signed by the Minister of Information indicated that these suspects together with the said contractor have all been remanded and are due to be arraigned before court.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah intimated that persons who are caught engaging in illegal mining will be made to face the law.

He further cautioned the general public to desist from hiding under the guise of National Security and indulge in illegalities.

“The Ministry would also like to caution citizens against perpetrating crime under the guise of National Security. Persons found culpable shall face the full rigours of the law.”

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah also assured the general public that government remains fully committed to the fight against the canker in the country.

Meanwhile, the arrest of these persons brings to 65 the number of persons who claim to be members of the state security embarking on illegal mining in the Eastern region, in a spate of 10 days.