It is emerging that some illegal miners whose excavators were seized by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) taskforce paid between GHS50, 000 and GHS 55,000 into a private account of a journalist in order to take back their equipment.
Peace FM’s Seth Mantey in his account to the security agencies revealed “I became the contact boy for the miners whose excavators had been seized. The miners pay between GHS50, 000 and GHS55, 000 into my account at NIB to influence the team for the seized excavators to be released. I then inform the team about the payment of the monies into my account, which I withdraw and give to Mr. Ofori Atta who then give some to Mr Ekow Ewudzie of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.”
He added “I can estimate so far that we have released close to between 27 to 30 excavators under cover but the money paid to my accounts have all been withdrawn and given to Mr Ofori Atta a.k.a Commando”,
According to security sources available to MyNewsGh.com, one of the excavators CAT 330 BL, was among a number of earth-moving equipment which were seized at mining sites in the Western Region and supposedly transported to Accra for safe keeping only for to disappear
According to highly placed police sources at the headquarters in Accra who pleaded strict anonymity, intensive search mounted by the owners led to the location of the excavator in the Kuntukrom Forest Reserve (Nsuta Forest Reserve) in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality of the Western Region whilst engaged in illegal mining activities resulting in its burning.
Also featuring in the raging scandal is allegation of extortion of GHC 100,000.00 (One hundred thousand Ghana Cedis) the owners are levelling against some members of Galamstop who reportedly assured the release on the spot of the seized equipment but failed to honour that promise.
Allegedly linked to the scandal and assisting the police in their investigation is the Central Regional Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Ekow Ewusi and another equally high profile personality whose alleged involvement police are being evasive to disclose.