Illegal miners operating at Ankaase, a suburb of Anyinam in the Eastern Region may be made to “vomit” about 25 million dollars, if found guilty, to rehabilitate a six-kilometre stretch of railway line that had been destroyed by their activities.
Mr Daniel K. Markin, the Board Chairman of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) said at the weekend when four of the galamsey operators were arrested by a joint team of Koforidua and Anyinam Police personnel, ahead of their prosecution.
Mr Markin, together with other government officials and journalists, on Friday embarked on a fact finding mission to the area over reports that galamsey operators were destroying the Eastern Railway line expected to link Accra to Kumasi when completed.
The Board Chairman was shocked at the extent at which the illegal miners had caused destruction to the land with no trace of the railway lines.
“The perpetrators would have to face the full rigors of the law,” he said.
Meanwhile, the galamsey operators working for Emmanuel Mining Company told the delegation that their leader, whom they failed to name, had bought the concession from a Chinese mining company, which had earlier mined in the area.
There was drama at the Anyinam District Police Station, when one of the four in Police custody, vehemently accused an officer of the GRDA (name withheld) for wrongdoing, stressing that he had compromised his stance in the illegal activity.
They told the Police personnel and journalists to cause his arrest since he paid several visits to the area in the past but failed to act to clamp down on their activities if it were illegal.
But the official reacting said, he was posted to the town just four months ago, adding he could never had been involved in the activity.
Meanwhile, some of the illegal miners are also accusing some Police personnel for their involvement in the illegal trade.
Mr Markin assured journalists that the four would be arraigned on Monday December 12th, adding they would have to answer for themselves how and when they got the concession and why they decided to wreak havoc on the state asset.
The Authority aims to promote the development of railways and railway services, hold, administer and improve assets as well as to manage suburban railway.
The Authority also grants licenses, concessions, and leases necessary for the operation of railways and railway services and performs other related functions including the keeping of a register of railway.
GRDA was established in November, 2008.