A reporter with Accra-based Peace Fm one Seth Mantey has detailed seized excavators of illegal miners mysteriously disappeared after money exchanged hands, MyNewsGh.com reports.
In his account to investigators, the journalist he said “I worked with the Central Regional Security Coordinator, John Ofori Atta a.k.a Commando as his errand boy and part of the team Galam Stop. In the course of the operation, I became the contact boy for the miners whose excavators had been seized. The miners pay between GHS50, 000 and GHS55, 000 into my account at NIB to influence the team for the seized excavators to be released. I then inform the team about the payment of the monies into my account, which I withdraw and give to Mr. Ofori Atta who then give some to Mr Ekow Ewudzie of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.”
He added “I can estimate so far that we have released close to between 27 to 30 excavators under cover but the money paid to my accounts have all been withdrawn and given to Mr Ofori Atta a.k.a Commando”,
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has arrested the Central Regional Vice Chairman the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Horace Ekow Ewusi.
His arrest on Monday, follows an official complaint lodged with the police by the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng in a letter saying “Information reaching me indicates that he has sold an unknown number of the pieces of equipment including excavators.”
Over 500 excavators used by galamsey operators had been seized and parked at various district assemblies for safe keeping as prosecutions proceeded but the Minister shockingly a fortnight ago stated that the excavators have gone missing.
In 2017 government mounted a spirited ‘attack’ against illegal mining by setting up the Operation Vanguard Team to arrest the illegal miners across the country. They seemed to be achieving results.