The Ashanti regional branch of the Operation Vanguard taskforce against illegal mining has sanctioned a series of operations to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners.
The miners arrested included those operating on the Oda and Offin Rivers as well as other areas within the communities.
The taskforce arrested five persons including four Chinese nationals whose names were identified as; Li Xuh Jun, 51, Mo Chi Cai, 52, Wei Fun Ham, 45, and Wei Ziyun, 38 years old.
Four other suspects who claim to be national security personnel who were met at one of the areas providing protection to the site had their leader, one Yusif Fuseini also arrested and are assisting police in the investigation.
The taskforce has destroyed thirty (30) platforms mounted with changfan machines.
It has also seized one AK-47 assault rifle, a magazine filled with 13 live ammunitions, three pump action gun with nine live cartridges.
Another pump action gun loaded with three cartridges was also retrieved from the suspects.
The platforms mounted with changfan machines were set ablaze and destroyed.
The activities of illegal miners especially those engaged in alluvial mining have been the source of pollution of River Oda and Offin in the Ashanti Region.
Their activities have not only polluted the water bodies, increasing their turbidity and making it costly for the raw water to be treated for consumption but have also affected aquatic life as dangerous chemicals are washed into the banks in the process of the alluvial mining activities.
The Oda and Offin are the major sources of water for communities within its catchment area and also the people depend on it for farming and fishing activities and this source of livelihood is threatened because illegal activities of the Galamsey operators pose a grave danger to the eco-system and human survival.
The suspects are currently on police inquiry bail and assisting in investigations and will be charged and arraign for prosecution.