Galamsey fight: We’ll put our success rate at 75% – Operation Vanguard
Despite reports that illegal mining is still very much alive in some parts of the country a year after a campaign was launched to fight the canker, government’s anti-galamsey task-force, Operation Vanguard, says it has performed creditably in dealing with the canker.
The Spokesperson for task-force, Squadron Leader Robertson Omane Adjei in an interview on Eyewitness News on Tuesday indicated that although not many of those arrested have been prosecuted, the task-force believes that its work has been successful.
“Since the Operation Vanguard was launched, we have chalked some successes. Arrests we’ve made so far stands at 1,029… So far we have had 132 been put behind bars and some other people have also been fined various sums,” he said.
“For us, we think we are chalking success… We’ll put our success at 75%,” he added.
The anti-galamsey task-force was deployed to three regions; Ashanti, Western and Eastern about five months ago, to help fight and sustain the campaign against illegal mining, which was started by Citi FM a year ago.
Their operations have resulted in the arrest of illegal miners including foreign nationals, particularly Chinese.
The deployment of the joint police and military task-force came as a major boost to government’s fight against illegal mining in the country, following news of its devastating effects on the country’s land and water resources.
The government placed a six-month ban on all forms of mining until further notice, but later extended it on two different occasions as it says the desired results have not been seen yet.
This is however in spite of appeals from licensed small-scale miners who say the ban is negatively affecting their livelihoods.
Meanwhile, Operation Vanguard and the Media Coalition Against Galamsey have been appealing to the country’s judiciary to mete out stiffer punishments to persons found guilty of illegally mining especially on water bodies.
In various public appeals, they have noted fines imposed on majority of the guilty persons are not deterrent enough.