Five Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining have been arrested by a joint forest and military task force at Bepotenten in the Amansie central district of the Ashanti region.
The Chines miners were arrested Saturday afternoon while mining inside the Oda forest reserve near Asante Bekwai.
The Chines nationals at the time of their arrest were seen busily mining in the deep Oda forest reserve with mining excavators cutting down trees to pave ways for their mining activities.
Residents of Bepotenten told Ultimate FM’s Isaac Justice Bediako that the Chinese nationals were brought into the forest reserve by some government officials with military escort purposely for Galamsey pit reclamation.
“These foreigners were brought here by government officials for reclamation exercise, but we the residents here know there has never been any mining activity inside the Oda Forest reserve. You have seen the pictures yourself is this a reclamation site?.
“We have done our possible best to know those behind this particular mining site but any time you approach the Chinese, they show you government official contract. Now they have been arrested by the joint forestry and military task force trust me the police will struggle to prosecute them because the powerful hands behind their work is above Bekwai police command,” a resident said.
The five miners are currently behind bars at Asante Bekwai divisional police command to assist police investigations.
However, it’s not clear either the illegal miners will be arraigned before court today as Bekwai police command has refused to speak to the media over the arrest.