Ghanaian authorities have arrested over 160 Chinese citizens during a six-day illegal mining crackdown. “All such people doing illegal mining in Ghana without the requisite documentation will be flushed out," a senior public relations officer at Ghana Minerals Commission reportedly said.
The arrests occurred in the central Ashanti region and western regions of Ghana, the second largest producer of gold in Africa. Those arrested are believed to have entered Ghana illegally through neighboring countries. Each detainee faces a fine for working illegally in the country and deportation, according to The Guardian.
President John Dramani Mahama created a task force in May to combat the growing issue, which has been largely attributed to polluted water supplies and land conflicts amongst Ghanaian farmers and miners. Collapsed pits have also resulted in the recent deaths of several illegal miners.
"I am sending a clear signal to the offending individuals and groupings that the government will not allow their activities to cause conflict, dislocation, environmental degradation and unemployment when in fact the sector should rather benefit our communities and our country," Mahama told the press last month.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Kwasi Kpodo)