Commander of the anti-‘galamsey’ operation task force Operation Vanguard wants a fast track court to be set up for speedy prosecution of illegal mining cases.
Colonel William Nortey says the missing link in the fight against illegal mining is lack of prosecution which is thwarting the efforts of the task force.
He says only about 5 per cent of over 2,000 illegal miners caught have been prosecuted.
“When we talk about prosecution it has been the weakest link in this fight, we have arrested so many people and conviction has been very few, and because the court processes are slow these people are given bail and they go back to the field to continue their activities. We have arrested people who are already in court, so we proposed a fast track system to solve this issue, some of the miners are in the deep forest and we need some military-grade drones to be able to locate them easily,” he spoke to Luv FM.
Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party’s Central Regional Vice Chairman, Horace Ekow Ewusi has been arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for his alleged involvement in the disappearance of some excavators seized from illegal miners in the country.
It will be recalled that, at the peak of the fight against illegal mining between 2017 and 2018, about five hundred earth-moving machines were seized by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
The then sector Minister, John Peter Amewu who sanctioned the seizure directed them to be parked at the premises of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation and also Chairperson for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), disclosed recently that most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners had vanished.