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The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines, Hon George Mireku Duker, who also doubles as the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency today, on behalf of the Sector Minister addressed the press concerning updates on the arrest of four illegal Gold Dealers

“Government is committed to sanitizing the mining sector, including small-scale
mining, which has been facing an infiltration of foreigners and in recent times, an escalation of smuggling of gold produced to neighbouring countries. The recent Press Release by the Office of the Attorney-General’s Office on the
subject matter of conviction of Chinese and Ghanaian illegal gold dealers is
testimony to Government’s committment. The Press Release confirmed the conviction of four (4) persons by the Tarkwa circuit court on 5th November, 2021 for unlawfully dealing in gold and money laundering. The persons involved were; Chen Hung @ Labania, a Chinese, Chen Zhili @ Andy, a Chinese, Stephen Arthur, a Ghanaian, and  Prince Denis Aidoo, a Ghanaian” he stated.

The two Chinese nationals were found liable to pay a fine of 120,000 penalty units (Ghs 1,440,000) each or in default serve 15years each in prison.
The two Ghanaians were, also, fined 100,000 and 120,000 penalty units (Ghs
1,200,000 & Ghs 1,440,000) respectively, or in default serve prison terms of 10 years and 15 years, respectively.
As you are aware, the court also issued some additional orders to be complied with. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, the conviction by the court and the severity of the penalties imposed are clear evidence of Government’s resolve to fight illegalities in the mining sector.
Government in 2019 decided that the sanctions applicable to illegal mining were not severe enough to provide the warranted deterrence and hence passed Act 995 to amend and make the sanctions stiffer. It is, therefore, Act 995 which imposes the penalties that have been applied by the court and which is expected to deter those who will be tempted to undertake illegal activities associated with mining.

This is to sound a word of caution to persons involved in illegal mining activities, especially in water bodies and forest reserves. Those involved in gold smuggling and other related activities should also take note. Other initiatives to fight this “Galamsey” menace include;
Government launching “Operation Halt II” to clamp down on illegal miners.
Additional to that, Government is collaborating with the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners to flush out illegal miners within the industry. On 30th September this year, seven (7) foreigners were arrested by a task force led by myself in the Birim North District. Government will not relent in its efforts at ensuring sanity within our mining space.

Again, Government has launched the “National Alternative Employment and
Livelihood Programme”, which provides many business and livelihood options for individuals to venture into.

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Hon. George Mireku Duker, stated that, this programme featured the community mining Scheme, which provides a credible, responsible and sustainable alternative to the “galamsey” menace.

He also assured the general public especially the press that, the Ministry, will not relent in their efforts in dealing with all forms of illegalities in the mining sector and will also ensure that, mining is done in a more responsible manner.

“Finally, let me also reiterate that, punishment for those who are found in engaging in illegalities are much stiffer under act 995. They range between 10,000 to 250,000 penalty units or 15 to 25 years in prison.” He stated.

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