Forty-seven foreigners engaged in illegal gold mining on the Offin River, which is within the Upper Denkyira East Municipality, were arrested in a dawn swoop by the Central Regional Security Command (REGSEC) last Tuesday.
Those arrested included Chinese, Indians and a Turk.
A Ghanaian suspect, who was arrested during the swoop was, however, released later.
One of the Chinese was found with a substance suspected to be heroin.
The suspects have since been sent to Accra under the escort of the Immigration Services Department to be processed for deportation to their original countries.
It would be recalled that some months ago,the national security organised an exercise to flush out illegal gold miners whose activities have degraded the environment and heavily polluted rivers, especially the Pra and Offin.
Briefing the press during the exercise, the Central Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Ransford Moses Ninson, said the exercise was a mop up to flush out foreign nationals who have clandestinely returned to the country.
He said the suspects were picked out from hotels, guest houses and hideouts within Dunkwa-On- Offin and its environs.
At Kyekyewere, the security service had to open fire to ward off some of the galamsey miners who had gathered at the opposite bank of the river.
The police had to set fire to the equipment used by the illegal operators as a deterrent but the miners responded with insinuations and pleadings that the security services had destroyed their livelihood.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, who led the operation, commended members of the security services for their commitment and insisted that any local collaborator would be dealt with.
Mr Sarpong described the exercise as a success and that the REGSEC would provide all the logistics to sustain it.
He said the environmental impact was so enormous that it must be tackled with the necessary force to deter both local and foreign perpetrators.
Source: Daily Graphic
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