The Eastern Regional Minister says the country’s fight against illegal mining may be compromised because some youth are bribing members of the Operation Vanguard team in the region.
Eric Kwakye Darfour who also doubles as the chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) said the development has encouraged the illegal miners to continue with their trade.
He said the anti-galamsey efforts will be affected when those arrested are let go after they pay bribes to the police, adding it is taking a heavy toll on the communities affected by activities of the illegal miners.
The government’s resolve to end illegal mining received further impetus with the deployment of security men to three regions considered to be the most affected areas.
Dubbed “Operation Vanguard”, the 400 security men made up of personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the Ghana Police Service have been divided into three groups to cover the Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions.
The teams have been tasked to stay in their assigned regions until all forms of illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, have been stopped and unauthorised mining pits permanently destroyed.
But the Eastern Regional Minister has accused the National Anti-Galamsey Taskforce in the region of taking bribes.
Responding to the claims, outgoing Commander of the Taskforce, Colonel William Agyapong told Joy FM the team is not influenced by anyone including the government.
“One of the major successes of this operation is the fact that we have not had any major interference whatsoever,” he said.
He was emphatic no one in authority has so-far called to allow a group or individual found culpable to go free.
“From the operations, we have been conducting so far, I want to state emphatically that no Operation Vanguard personnel has stooped so low to be compromised as being reported,” Mr Agyapong added.
According to him, they have seized a lot of items and monies from those arrested which were used as exhibits in court.
Col Agyapong said although people have made attempts to bribe the officers, they have not changed their stance.
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com | Abubakar Ibrahim| [email protected]