Mining | National

MCE arrested over galamsey mining

The Municipal Chief Executive for Upper Denkyira East in the Central Region, Peter Kofi Owusu Ashia has been arrested for conniving with galamsey miners, Joy News has gathered.

He was arrested together with some immigration officials by the inter-ministerial taskforce instituted to clamp down on galamsey mining.

Joy News’ Central region correspondent, Richard Kwadwo Nyarko reports that Peter Kofi Owusu Ashia and his accomplices were arrested following allegations of bribery and extortion from some foreign illegal galamsey operators.

The operations of the taskforce have been structured in a way that foreign nationals who are arrested are handed over to the Ghana Immigration Service.

Information available to Joy News indicates that officials of the Immigration Service were caught extorting money from the foreign nationals in their custody. They are said to have taken about GH¢8,000 from them.

It was during the interrogation that the officers gave the name of the MCE as an accomplice.

According to Kwadwo Nyarko, residents were spellbound when the name of Kofi Owusu Ashia cropped up. According to residents it was difficult for them to believe that the MCE who is the head of security in the area has been an integral part of an activity that has widely been condemned by all.

An amount of GH¢17,000 was found in his office when the taskforce conducted a search there, which is believed he made it through his connivance with the galamseyers.

Water bodies in the area have been polluted by the activities of the illegal miners. Many farm lands have also been destroyed by them.

Meanwhile, about 200 foreign nationals believe to be working in illegal mines have also been arrested by the taskforce. They are being conveyed in two Metro Mass buses to Accra as at Friday evening, Joy News learnt.