Fifteen suspected illegal miners have been detained by the Central Regional Police during one of their several illicit mining activities on the Offinso River.
According to Central Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, the suspects were apprehended in the act following a tip-off to the police, where fifteen out of several others were caught.
The culprits who range between the ages of 15 and 42 were in a machine on the river defying directives from government and local authorities to stop all mining activities on the river.
“The Dunkwa-On-Offin Police upon a tip-off and consistent meddling of the Offinso River laid ambush and identified these people. Police were able to arrest 15 of them, others escaped by swimming in the river. They range from the ages of 15 and 42.They were in the machine on top of the river mining and in that sense meddling the river,” he explained.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) for small-scale miners in Dunkwa-On-Offin, Benjamin Annan said illicit mining activities contributed greatly to the destruction of most water bodies in the country and as an association felt the need to assist the police in arresting individuals who contribute to the destruction of the environment.
He noted that although members of the association were no longer mining as much as they used to, the state of their water bodies remained the same adding that, “we formed a task force to so that we help the government to stop these illegal mining activities on our water bodies.”
The suspects are expected to appear before the court today.
DCOP Ampah-Bennin issued a strong warning to individuals who intended to continue mining illegally promising them detention and punishment according to the law.
“We sound a note of caution that people who want to secretly mine, in our rivers, we will apprehend all of them and they will be made to face the full rigours of the law,” he noted.