Liberia: Senate Probes Illegal Mining in Southeast

The Liberian Senate has mandated two committees on Lands Mines and Energy and Security to meet with the Minister of Mines and Energy and the Liberia Immigration Service to investigate illegal mining in the Southeastern part of Liberia.

Sinoe County Sen. J. Milton Teahjay in a written communication to the Senate complains that miners who have been issued class "C" license by the Mines and Energy Ministry are carrying on class "A" mining, instead.

Sen. Teahjay believes that miners involved in this act are defrauding the Liberian government millions of dollars that could be used to improve the livelihood of thousands of Liberian citizens.

According to him, Ghanaians are dominantly engaged in the illegal mining activities.

In his complaint, Sen. Teahjay asks plenary to summon the Ministry of Mines and Energy to show cause why miners that are issued class "C" licenses are performing class "A" mining without effectively monitoring mechanism in place at the Ministry.

For his part, Sinoe County Sen. Augustine Chea says he was recently in the county and there were complaints from the residents about the illegal mining ongoing there.

He says residents revealed that those involved are mainly foreigners.

Gbarpolu County Sen. Daniel Naatehn made a motion to accept the communication and send it to the appropriate committees to report to plenary next Thursday.He says if the both committees are unable, plenary will invite the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Liberian Immigration Service.By Ethel A Tweh-Edited by Winston W. Parley

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