Sixty-Seven operators of illegal mining, commonly known as “Galemsey”, were on Monday arrested by security personnel at the Desiri Forest Reserve in the Ahafo Ano North District.
The operation was carried out by a team of military, police and task force of the Forestry Department.
It followed a request by the Ministry of Lands and Forestry to the Ashanti Regional Security Council to help end the operations of illegal miners in the area.
Briefing journalists in Kumasi on the exercise, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Patrick Eden Timbillah, said parcels of leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, 15 wrappers of whitish substance believed to be cocaine were seized from Yaw Ntim one of the suspects.
DCOP Timbillah said a motorbike, 16 water pumping machines, seven electric generators, a gas cylinder, three satellite discs, a megaphone and four spraying machines were also seized from the suspects.
The rest were two gold extraction machines, which were underground, unserviceable excavator, a fuel pumping machine, eight desktop phones, 13 cellular phones, an unspent cartridge and GH¢10,851.00, five Euros, 468,000 CFA and 20 Naira.
DCOP Timbillah said open pits that were used by the suspects were destroyed to bring an end to illegal mining in the area.
He said the operation would be sustained and appealed to the media and other stakeholders to help stamp out “galamsey” from the area.