Fifteen suspected illegal miners, popularly called galameyers, have been arrested by the government’s anti-illegal mining taskforce – ‘Operation Vanguard,’ at Prestea in the Western Region.
The taskforce, commissioned a few weeks ago, has arrested more than 80 suspected galamseyers so far since the start of its operations. The latest arrest was made at Nankaba, a suburb of Prestea.
Speaking to journalists, some of the suspects were peeved at the manner in which members of the taskforce conducted their operation.
They asserted that the team was not there to arrest illegal miners, but to rob innocent citizens.
They also alleged that when the operation was ongoing, some of the galamseyers were still inside a pit operating. “But the team still went ahead to disconnect the electricity cables and blower machine, which blows air into the pit,” one of the suspected illegal miners alleged.
He continued, “Due to the heat inside the pit, we fear some galamseyers who are still inside may suffocate to death.”
Efforts to get the Prestea police to comment on the issue were not successful.
‘Operation Vanguard,’ which comprises a joint military and police personnel of about 400, was about two weeks ago deployed to three regions – Ashanti, Eastern and Western – to flush out illegal miners.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi