Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for the tracking of unique chassis numbers in identifying importers of excavators for galamsey.
According to him, once the chassis numbers are identified, it will not prove difficult in finding the actual owners of the excavators. He further went on to express his apparent shock over the inability of government to prosecute offenders in illegal mining.
“It strikes me as really strange that in this entire galamsey fight we have not had one galamsey overlord, one real architect, an actual financier arrested and prosecuted. Isn’t that where the fight should have started from? We all know from the kind of sophisticated equipment at play that only a few moneybags can initiate a galamsey operation.
“Instead of hurriedly burning excavators; shouldn’t we pay attention to their unique chassis numbers and readily available technology to track the real McCoys who imported or purchased them? It’s definitely not difficult to follow the ownership trail”.
Reward for informants
Mr Ablakwa further noted that, putting a reward system in place for informants on galamsey may lead to the arrest of notable personalities behind the operations.
“Is it not time to put out a handsome amount of money as a reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the ‘big men/women’ behind the destructively criminal galamsey gang? Remember, those cloaked with authority over intelligence gathering say they do not know the real henchmen.
“Also, in exchange for their freedom; shouldn’t we get the small flies we arrest at the galamsey pits to lead us to their real bosses? How many of them wouldn’t find this offer irresistible?
Touching further on implementing more stringent measures in curbing the menace, Mr. Ablakwa urged for the involvement of some key institutions. The North Tongu legistator believes their participation will help in the fight against galamsey.
“Where is EOCO to long begin following the proceeds of this organized crime; by lawfully freezing bank accounts and identifying assets of suspected bigwigs linked to galamsey as we take sincere steps to smoke out the shadowy perpetrators-in-chief?
“Finally, can all political parties in Ghana publicly declare a zero-tolerance policy for party financing from galamsey overlords at all levels? This ought to be strictly enforced with appropriate sanctions”.
GAF to destroy excavators
Meanwhile, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has resolved to deploy officers to curb illegal mining by destroying all equipment found at illegal mining sites.
According to a statement from GAF signed by its Public Relations Director, Eric Aggrey Quarshie, it explained that, “there were still some illegal mining activities going on in some of the areas”. He further indicated that prior to this, these areas were “hitherto been cleared by Operation Halt II”.
“These illegal activities were mostly being done in the night or under the cover of darkness protected by armed guards, as used cartridges were found at the sites. The Operation Halt II patrol that accompanies the team was ordered to destroy logistics found in these areas”.