Government says it will have the tapes of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s latest exposé on illegal mining properly investigated using the raw unedited footage.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister said if any public officers are found to have solicited monies or taken bribes to bend rules the necessary action will be taken.
He told journalists at a presser a day after the release of the ‘Galamsey Fraud’ documentary that it has come to government’s notice based on “some raw footages and rashes.”
“What government is doing is getting access to these tapes so that you can do a property investigation of all these matters whether it is those from Operation Vanguard or staff of the Office of the [Anti-Galamsey] Taskforce,” he said.
Producers of the documentary claim some government officials including the secretary to the anti-ministerial committee Charles Bissiw are circumventing measures to curb illegal mining and allowing a company to mine.
The undercover work showed the officials receiving various sums of money to facilitate the process and provide security protection for the mining company.
When the war on galamsey was declared, government decided to give a clear picture of the scope and duration of the intervention. It, therefore, set up the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) to implement the two-year road map.
While the Committee has received plaudits for a good job done so far, some complaints have also been heard about underhand dealings involving officials in charge at the IMCIM who allegedly take bribes to allow people circumvent the rules of the roadmap. The secret filming captured Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Charles Cromwell Bissiw, taking cash amounting to ¢35,000 in three meetings through one Andy Owusu, a ‘connection man’, to circumvent the process to renew the mining license for ORR Resources Enterprise.
Reacting to the release of the video, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said government takes serious objection to such acts because the project to stop illegal is dear to government after committing resources to stop it.
The Ofoase Ayeribi MP said government “welcomes any efforts aimed at assisting it to succeed in its fight against illegal small scale mining.”