Illegal Chinese gold mine workers seized in Ghana

Ghanaian police rounded up 124 illegal Chinese gold mine workers and prospectors yesterday in the capital city, Accra, as part of a wider crackdown against illegal mining.

Police officers have been "raiding mines, supermarkets, hotels in Kumasi, Obuasi and Dunkwa in the Ashanti region of the west African country, where Chinese run the majority of the small and medium gold mines," reported the South China Morning post Wednesday.

Most of the detained men are expected to be sent back to China.

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It's estimated that 50,000 illegal Chinese gold prospectors are currently operating in Ghana. The Chinese 'gold rush' in Ghana began in 2005 and, "at its peak, several thousand small gold mines were run by Chinese, who formed partnerships with local owners."

Last month the Ghanaian president said that illegal mining was costing the country millions of dollars in lost revenue due to environmental degradation.