Ghana officials nab 43 more illegal miners

Ghanaian officials have detained 43 Chinese, one American and two Indian nationals suspected of illegal gold mining, according to the Ghana Immigration Services (GIS).

The men were arrested at Dunkwa-on-offin, 267 km from Accra.

“The arrest was in line with the President’s directive to clamp down on illegal miners in the country,” said Francis Palmdeti, head of GIS public relations.

“The options open to us are release, prosecution or repatriation, depending on the outcome of our investigations.”

At its peak, illegal mining in Ghana involved an estimated 50,000 Chinese nationals. Ghanaian officials admit that “the scale [of the illegal mining] is so vast, it is actually difficult to quantify.”

In May the government created a taskforce as part of a crackdown that has found some recent success, but the problems, including damage to local agriculture and water supplies, cultural tensions and, at times, violence, still weigh heavily on Ghanaian society.

Watch a video on illegal mining in Ghana here.

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