The President of the Concerned Small Scale Miners, Michael Kwadwo Peprah has alleged that several ounces of gold seized from illegal miners by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining between 2018 and 2019 have gone missing.
This comes on the back of the arrest of Horace Ekow Ewusi and five others for their alleged involvement in the disappearance of some confiscated excavators.
Mr. Preprah said the situation warrants further investigations.
“You have seized people’s excavators and those excavators cannot be found. They have seized people’s gold because they thought they were engaging in galamsey and that gold cannot be found and at the end of the day, we are back to the same problem,” he said.
“If we are able to seize over 500 excavators, then imagine the number of gold that will be seized alongside the excavators because all those excavators were used in mining. And at the end of the day when you go and catch the person in the act, they were not catching stones, they were mining. So if you should take the gold with the excavator, you should know the amount of gold we are talking about. It means that in this fight against galamsey, people were using it to enrich themselves. Now that we have brought the military and they have failed, what is next? That is one thing we fear.”
Michael Kwadwo Peprah also said the suggested dissolution of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining as hinted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) General Secretary, John Boadu is long overdue.
“We said it over again that using the military to fight the problem is not the solution and the government did not adhere to what we were trying to say. Now that at least we have had evidence from all that we were saying, it is a lesson to them. And it is a lesson to the subsequent government. The problem is a very complex one and if you do not understand the problem, that is when you make mistakes like what we have done,” he said.