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Are people buying cocoa lands for galamsey ‘ghost’ - Kweku Baako to National Security

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Fri, 7 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Veteran Journalist Kweku Baako Jnr has bemoaned the failure of the state's security apparatus to trace people who purchase lands meant for cultivating cocoa and use them for illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.

According to him, the sale of cocoa lands to 'galamseyers' is a crime because, even though the lands belong to the cocoa farmers, the minerals beneath them belong to the state.

Kweku Baako, who made these remarks in a Peace FM interview monitored by GhanaWeb, said that the failure of the security to find the people who are buying cocoa lands and turning them into ‘galamsey’ sites is very worrying.

“People are selling lands meant for cocoa lands to galamseyers, other farmers are being driven out by these activities. Both the buyer and the seller I have a problem with but the buyer is where my emphasis is. So if the sellers can be encouraged to tell us who the buyers are, why not.

“Are the people buying galamsey lands ghost? No, they are not. With a little intelligence gathering, even collaborating with the sellers, these galamseyers can be caught.

“The point is that even though the land belongs to the farmers the minerals under them belong to the state. So, there is clearly some element of criminality if the farmers are selling the lands to people who are going to dig for the minerals beneath them,” he said.

The veteran journalist added that even if the cocoa farmers are not willing to cooperate, the security apparatus must be able to gather the needed intelligence to arrest these illegal miners.

Kwesi Baako made these remarks while reacting to reports that indicated that illegal mining is gradually reducing Ghana's cocoa production levels.

Watch the interview in the video below:



You can also watch this episode of People & Places here:



IB/BOG

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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