Three Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining in Ghana have been arrested, officials say.
They were arrested by a team of Operation Vanguard task force on Thursday, December 12, 2019 — during an operation at Benebene-Odaho, a community near Jacobu in the Amansie District of the Ashanti Region.
The suspects have been named as YongQiu, 33, Zhu Gu, 49 and 47-year-old Weng Weifa —all residents of Daaban, a suburb of Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
Led by ASP Fred Kpetigo, Crime Officer for Operation Vanguard, in Ashanti Region, the team also arrested two Ghanaians at the illegal mining site.
They have also been named as John Sagoe and Adams Salifu.
All the suspects have been handed over to the Jacobu District Command for action.
It is gathered that the Chinese nationals would be transferred to the Ghana Immigration Service Headquarters in Accra for further action.
At the time of filing this report, all the suspects were being detained at the said police post.
The arrests follow a series of pit collapses in which dozens of Ghanaian illegal miners including children, have died, raising concern about the prevalence of the practice in Africa’s second-largest gold producer after South Africa.
In 2015, China sent diplomats to visit the detainees, and warned its citizens in Ghana to “strictly abide by the related laws and regulations”.
A spokesperson for China’s embassy in Ghana, urged Ghana to exercise “strong discipline” in enforcing its laws, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
The South China Morning Post estimates that more than 50,000 Chinese gold miners have been to Ghana since 2005, two-thirds of them from Shanglin, an impoverished county in southern Guangxi province where news of the gold rush spread by word of mouth.
Source: Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH