Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong has alleged that members of the anti-galamsey taskforce, Operation Vanguard, assigned by government specifically to tackle issues related to illegal mining in various parts of the country are extorting monies from illegal miners in some of communities where ‘galamsey’ is ongoing.
This he says is the price these galamsey operators have to apparently pay to gain some permit of sort from these taskforce members to continue their illegal operations; amounts ranging from GHC 6000 to GHC 10,000.
“Operation Vanguard is now taking monies from the galamsey operators and they allow them to go into the forest to mine. If you are not able to pay, you are arrested and asked to lie on the floor whilst facing the sun.”
Mr Agyapong alleged that police officers at Denkyira demand GHC 6, 000 to GHC 10, 000 from the miners before they are allowed to mine.
The MP who was speaking on Oman FM’s ‘Boiling Point’ charged the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu to follow up on this matter.
“They should sack or dissolve the operation vanguard task force. They are full of thieves!” he stressed.
Operation Vanguard was launched by President Akufo-Addo in July 2017 after an intense media campaign to put pressure on government to curb activities of small-scale illegal miners whose ‘galamsey’ activities are posing serious threats to the environment and the country’s waterbodies.
A combined team of armed police and military personnel’s under the name ‘Operation Vanguard’ were deployed to various mining communities in the country to help stop the activities of illegal mining or galamsey which is polluting the country’s water bodies and other naturals resources.
The task force was formed by the government of Ghana to help enforce the ban on all illegal mining in the country.