The leadership of the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association says it will petition President Nana Akufo-Addo to widen the probe into the alleged corruption that accompanied the crackdown on illegal mining.
Aside from the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of seized excavators, the association also wants a probe into the whereabouts of gold that were seized by illegal as well as other individuals who may have been engaged in other forms of corruption.
So far, six persons have been arrested in connection with the missing excavators and since granted bail.
But speaking to Citi News, Nana Kwadwo Peprah, the President of the Concern Small Scale Miners Association, said the arrests so far did not represent the scale of the alleged rot hence the petition.
“Very soon we are coming out with a petition to the President for him to also look into this matter because if the CID has invited some people claiming that they are culprits, I don’t think these six people are the only people we need to look into,” he said.
In addition, Mr. Peprah demanded more accountability for the gold seized by the anti-illegal mining taskforce over the years.
“They have to declare it. You cant only declare an excavator. The excavator was in an act so the gold they retrieved from those miners, where is the gold? These are the questions we want to ask and we expect them to answer us.”
Allegations of missing gold
Mr. Peprah has already alleged that gold seized from illegal miners between 2018 and 2019 have gone missing.
“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.”
The rot at the heart of illegal mining is back in sharp focus because of the minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng said most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners had vanished.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng subsequently wrote a letter to the Police CID to investigate Horace Ekow Ewusi, suspended First Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, over his alleged involvement in the missing earth-moving equipment.