The Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police, DSP Cephas Arthur, has dismissed suggestions a ¢50,000 donation from a Chinese businessman, may compromise them and dull the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
He said the donation was in fulfillment of a pledge the businessman, Tang Hong, made some years ago, when the Service was soliciting funds to build an office complex.
Mr Tang Hong’s donation to the police service on Monday, has sent social media into a frenzy.
The donation which was received by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante Apeatu, has been described as a bribe to tie the hands of the police in its fight against galamsey.
The majority of foreigners engaged in the illegal activity are Chinese and there have been calls for the police to clamp down the activity and repatriate the miners.
This donation, many believe will influence the work of the police, whose neutrality is already being questioned.
Mr. Hong’s company, deals in excavators and heavy equipment which are largely used in the illegal mining activity.
But speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, DSP Arthur, said that cannot happen.
“I don’t see the connection…people are creating a very remote connection and trying to make the gesture look as if the police were given the money to compromise them.
“This is quite remote, it is not possible and the entire Ghana Police Service cannot be compromised with GHS50,000,” he emphasised.
Although, Mr Hong is the Chairman of the Ghana Association of Chinese Societies, DSP Arthur said, he donated the money in his personal capacity as a businessman and not on behalf of the group of which he is chairman.
In any case, “what effect will it have,” he questioned, adding that the Service has known Mr Hong for some years now and this will not be the first donation he has made to the service.
He recalled the donation of some 12 motorbikes and bicycles to assist in the Service’s community efforts two years ago.
“He [Mr Hong] does not take corporate social responsibility lightly,” DSP Arthur stated.
A Security Analyst, Wing Commander Patrick Sogbordzor who contributed to the discussion said the donation should not in any way have an effect on the integrity of the police.
He said the fact that the Chinese are in the news about galamsey does not mean that’s all they come to Ghana to do.
“There are some at Tema who are doing fishing, others are in other businesses and the money donated cannot influence the police.”
He said the timing of the donation may be wrong but the police are well trained and should not be influenced by anyone.
Commander Sogbordzor believes that regardless of the donation, if any Chinese are found engaging in illegal mining, they will be properly dealt with.
“I don’t think we should make too much fuzz about it,” he said.