The Konongo police have arrested 12 illegal miners, “galamsey operators,” for invading a concession belonging to Owerriman Mines Company at Konogo without permission.
The suspects and several others who managed to escape arrest had earlier been cautioned by the police to stay away from the concession following reports about their illegal activities.
A team of policemen led by the Konongo Divisional Police Commander, Superintendent Afriyie Sakyie, who went to the site in the morning to prevent the operators from having access to the concession, arrested the culprits when they threatened to attack the police.
Mr Sakyie told the Ghana News Agency that he received information on July 4 that a group of young men had taken over portions of the company’s concession.
When the police went there they saw over 50 people engaged in illegal mining and they attributed their action to joblessness and agreed to quit.
Having resolved the issue amicably the police, who had impounded some motorbikes belonging to the operators, gave them back to them only to be told they had returned to the place on July 6.
Mr Sakyie said the operators, wielding machetes and other offensive weapons, threatened to attack a police team sent to the scene, prompting the police to fire warning shots which forced them to retreat.
He said 12 of the operators were arrested and efforts were being made to arrest the other accomplices.