Western Region: Galamsey Kinpin finally arrested

Western Region: Galamsey Kinpin finally arrested

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Nana Amponsah, popularly known as Okobeng has been arrested over his engagement in illegal small-scale mining otherwise called Galamsey in the Nzema East municipality and Prestea enclave.

Okobeng who is a household name in the Western region, particularly the Wassa enclave, has been accused of engaging in galamsey, destroying water bodies and degrading the land.

He has also been accused of threatening and assaulting farmers and other commuters, sometimes injuring some of them around his mining areas in Gwira Tumentu, Abruodiem among others sites.

Nana Amponsah, according to Mineral Commission, was granted a Prospecting License, and he has been using the prospecting license for his illegal mining activities.

Okobeng Mining Limited, according to information, has been on the police wanted lists for some time now without recourse to his whereabouts.

He was arrested on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at a programme organiser by Western Regional Health Directorate in Takoradi.

The police intelligence picked the information that the suspect, Nana Amponsah, who is on their wanted lists is at Akroma Plaza in Takoradi where Ghana Health Service was organizing their annual performance review meeting.

Accordingly, the police acted on the intelligence and deployed their men to the venue, and they arrested the suspect and detained him at Takoradi Central Police Station.

The Nzema East municipality through to Prestea has been suffering from galamsey menace, leaving the water bodies polluted and the land destroyed.

The Chiefs and people of Gwira Traditional Council in the Nzema East Municipality at a press conference in Accra early this year, petitioned the Mineral Commission, including the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Police and other regulatory bodies to withdraw the license granted to Okobeng Mining Company Limited with immediate effect.

They alleged that Okobeng Mining Company Limited, within the past six years, had engaged in illegal small-scale mining in the area.

They also challenged the suspect to produce the documents he claimed were granted to him, including Mining lease, EPA permit, Digging permit, Municipal operating permit and water permit before he continues his operations.

And he has since failed to do so.

According to them, the illegal activities of Okobeng Mine have destroyed Cocoa farms and other farm produce, including the pollution of the Ankobra River, the main source of drinking water for the people.

The Chiefs reported how Okoben has been intimidating them with armed land guards and other offensive weapons.

Source: O. A. Dadzie

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