19 February 2013

Ghana: Seven Chinese Illegal Miners in Police Grip

Kumasi — Seven Chinese illegal miners, who have been terrorising residents of the Manso area of Ashanti Region, are in the firm grips of the police in Kumasi.

The six Chinese nationals were arrested on Wednesday, during a swoop by a team of police personnel in Kumasi, who were dispatched to the area upon a complaint filed by the directors of ORE Royal Mining Company and BENA Mining Company, based in Accra.

The suspects were arrested whilst busily prospecting for minerals with their heavy duty mining equipments at the two mining sites, located at Manso Abodom, in the Amansie District of the Ashanti Region.

The names of the suspects were given as Jiang Shi Xin, Lu Jian Xiang, Jiang Yao Zhong, Ye Sheng Zhong, Zhang Jian Zhong and Chen Lian Li, Xie Guiang.

The police retrieved a pump action gun with 69 AA cartridges during a search on them.

They have since admitted trespassing on the mining concession belonging to the two mining firms in their caution statements, but insist they were only contracted managers of HANSOL Mining Limited, a Kumasi-based small scale mining firm.

The Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service, ASP Mohammed Tanko, told The Chronicle in a briefing that somewhere in May, 2012, the two complainants, Mr. Baffour Awuah Frimpong and Kwame Nuako of ORE Royal Mining and BENA Mining Companies respectively, acquired the concession, and were licensed through the Ministry of Minerals and Natural Resources to prospect for minerals on three mining concessions at Manso Abodom for a period of five years.

ASP Tanko said in June 2012, the two complainants detected that their legally acquired concessions were being trespassed by the owners of HANSOL Mining, but several efforts to get them to desist proved futile.

The two accused, whose names were given as Evans Atropa and Daniel Gyawu, were reported to have defied several warnings not to operate on the concessions, because it did not belong to them.

However, on Monday February 11, the complainants, having tried all avenues to reclaim their land, reported the matter to the police, and the subsequent swoop on Wednesday, February 13, led to the arrest of six of the illegal Chinese miners.

The Regional Police PRO has meanwhile, indicated that efforts were being made to trace the whereabouts of the two accused to aid in the investigation process.

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