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“Operation Halt Has Led To The Arrest Of Two Chinese Nationals" - Defense Minister (Pictures)

The Minister for Defense, Dominic Nitiwul has confirmed that two Chinese Nationals have been arrested following an 'operation halt', a joint action by the various security agencies aimed at flushing out illegal miners in the country.

According to him, the two Chinese Nationals will be dealt with squarely of which will serve as a warning to illegal miners destroying Ghana's river bodies.

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Addressing Journalists at a meet the press session in Accra, he said "“It is noted that since the operation commenced on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, to Thursday, April 29, 2021, the troops have destroyed a good deal of equipment including nine excavators and 127 changfans. Furthermore, the following items have been seized and would have been but for the fact that they will be used as exhibits in court for prosecution. The items include 8×24 plate batteries, one pump action gun case, a generator, a Huawei phone, a chainsaw machine, eight raincoats, fuel filters, non-citizen Ghana cards, two drilling equipment, and two boots. The exercise christened “Operation Halt” has also led to the arrest of two Chinese nationals”

He also added that the Akufo-Addo government has deployed about 200 fully armed military personnel to various hot-zones where illegal mining activities are carried out.

Speaking on the equipment seized, he said “These items will be destroyed except what the police deem necessary for their work for prosecution.”

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“This operation will be conducted on all major river and forest reserves in all galamsey endemic regions throughout the country to rip them of illegal mining activities. There will be aerial patrols at places where GAF has also swept past. Armed men would be authorized to take immediate action on anyone who returns to these river bodies to engage in galamsey activities.” he mentioned

It will be recalled that President Akufo-Addo per his powers ordered 200 military personnel to embark on an exercise and arrest persons practicing galamsey in the various river bodies across the country.

The mission which began on Wednesday 28 April, saw the personnel head towards River Pra in the Central and Western Regions.

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President Akufo-Addo took such directive after numerous suggestions were proposed to him at a Stakeholder Dialogue on Small Scale Mining.

“In furtherance of the resolution of the final communiqué of the Stakeholder Dialogue on Small Scale Mining on April 14 to April 15, and to ensure that mining within water bodies is immediately stopped; the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has authorized the Ghana Armed Forces to commence an operation to remove all persons and logistics involved in mining from Ghana’s water bodies.”

“The operation commenced at 0600 hours on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, on the River Pra in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana. Two Hundred (200) officers of the Ghana Armed Forces are involved in the operation.”

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The Akufo-Addo government few days ago reaffirmed its stance statement stressing it will go all lengths to win the fight against galamsey in the country.

Below are some pictures:

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith