18th May 2024

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has ordered the arrest of one person who allegedly stole excavators parked at Adenta in the Greater Accra Region.

The Minister, who is now in charge of the excavators seized in the fight against galamsey, went to the site to take inventory of the number of excavators.

In an interview with the media before taking the inventory, Mr Asomah-Cheremeh disclosed: “Yesterday (Tuesday) around 5 pm, I had a distress call that four of the excavators were being hauled from the pool, so I drove here and lo and behold, when I got here, they had already gone.”

He added: “And I met a gentleman whom I quizzed and then he said that he was here when three gentlemen appeared before him purporting to act on the instructions of Professor Frimpong Boateng, that four of the excavators should be released to somebody. So I asked why he did that…I held him and took him to the Madina Police station.”

“In fact, a lot of people were coming here because I had come with the siren and that attracted most people within the vicinity to come here and later I realised that if I do not save his life the people were coming to beat him because this is state property. So I quickly drove him to the Police station for the Police to take care of him. He claims to be a security guy but I had my doubts and that is why I handed him over to the Police,” the Minister continued.

Currently, the suspended Central Regional vice-chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Horace Ekow Ewusi, and six others are being investigated over the disappearance of about 500 excavators seized during the fight against illegal mining.

Small-scale mining groups have also pushed for investigations into missing gold and ammunition seized during the same period.

Excavators retrieved

Meanwhile, seven of the seized excavators that went missing have been retrieved during an operation by the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining (IMCIM).

The seven are part of some 20 excavators that were impounded in Apraman and Topraman in the Eastern Region.

The exercise, which was undertaken by a special committee under the IMCIM tasked to retrieve all missing excavators, could only move 10 of the excavators to the Apraman Police station due to the immobility of the other 10.

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