Africa Commentary

Galamsey Sponsered Looting of Tontokrom Mine

This illegal Act Must be Stopped!

By: Mohammed Abu,Accra,ADM,Ghana

Galamsey financiers at Tontokrom,in the Amansie West District in May this year ochestrated a well calculated smear campaign  against GPS Ltd as doing galamsey.This led to the arrest of three Ukranians and a Russian during the a tour of the area by the Hon.Minister of Lands and Natural Resoures . The four foreigners  are now standing trial in court for involving in small scale illegal mining .

Military personnel stationed on the site to provide security because of previous attacks by the same galamsey operators were also intimidated and branded as “Galamsey Soldiers” protecting galamsey.This led to the unannounced withdrawal of the military personnel without any alternate security arrangement put in place to protect the mine.

Now the hidden  motives behind the engineers of the vile propaganda that was supported by some unsuspecting members of the Ghanaian media was soon to be exposed.With the four GPS Ltd technocrats and military personnel done away with from the site,it was now time to strike.Attacking the mine,vandalising administrative offices,geological laboratories,excavators,looting mined sands and gravel containing gold concentrates and eventually staging an authorised take over of the mining site.

Following  the withdrawal of the military personnel organised crowd lootings of the mine on 22 and 27th May are captured in the two videos.It is  still going on with reckless abandon both day night .In the above video, one can see GPS security personnel having been overwhelmed by the multitudes of people and could only look on helplessly.

The GPS site engineer also can be seen looking on helplessly while the people do their own thing. GPS corporate sources say,he was finally attacked,his phone siezed,smashed and he sustained injuries in the process.Why, because,he was seen trying to do some video recordings.

This is the new twist in Ghana’s fight against galamsey .Assuming for the sake of argument that the Russians were actually involved in galamsey and arrested by government through the Lands Ministry, does it make sense for local galamsey operators/financiers to have free access to the same mine through dubious  means? Or is tithe case that foreign “galamsey” operators must be done away with but their local counterparts can have a field day? In that case what we be tellling the world as a nation?They succeded in misleading Ghanaians and government and got the chance to use illegal means to take over the “Illegality” as they themselves had earlier called the mine?

As one can see in the videos the labour of poor women,children and males adults from other communities had been employed to do the looting of the sand and gravel through the use of head pans .The looted staff is then carried away to an unkown detination for washing to make cheap illgotten wealth.

This shoudn’t be allowed to continue  in the country as it makes a wicked mockery of rule of law and the government war on galamsey. This mine is owned by Ghanaians,Kass Mining Group and not foreigners as falsely alledged earlier.

GPS Ltd, a Russian Geological Management Consultancy firm is only operating the mine on their behalf on the basis of a Mining Support Services contract in tandem with the country’s laws permitted it by the Ghana Minerals Commission.

With the truth now out,over to you the afable and hardworking Hon.Minister of Lands & Natural Resources and the IGP.

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

MOHAMMED ABU

Chief Correspondent,,West Africa Region,African Development magazine

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