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General News Thu, 30 Jun 2005

Duty Policeman fired warning shots - AngloGold Ashanti

Accra, June 30, GNA - AngloGold Ashanti on Thursday said the Policeman on duty with its Sansu Reaction Team (SRT) fired warning shots to scare intruders, who were removing plastic felt from its STP arsenic Dam site.


A statement signed by Colonel Steve Oduro-Kwarteng (rtd), Head of Special Services Department of AngloGold Ashanti, in reaction to Media reports on the shooting of a small-scale miner, said at 2115 hours on June 20 2005 the SRT received a report that some intruders were removing the plastic felt material from the Company's STP Arsenic Dam site. "The team rushed there and managed to retrieve the felt material from the intruders after a few warning shots from the duty Policeman before they bolted away through a big hole they had created in the fence wall.


The statement said: "At 2311 hours it was again reported that the intruders had come back to the Arsenic Dam site. The reaction team together with the Policeman on duty again went to the site by passing through the opening created in the fence wall by the intruders. "Three of the intruders, who were armed with cutlasses attempted to attack the security guards as they usually do. The Policeman again fired warning shots before the intruders decided to run away.


"Two of the intruders managed to climb over the metal gate as the only way out. The third intruder, in attempt to climb over the metal gate was wounded in the tummy by the spikes on top of the metal gate. "He fell outside the gate and could not move again. It was then observed that part of his intestines had gushed out. He was rushed to the AGA Hospital around 2340 hours.


AngloGold Ashanti said: "At the hospital, the surgeon was not in town so after giving the first aid treatment and putting him on drips, the duty officials decided that he was to be sent to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi for the necessary surgery. He was thus sent to Kumasi about 00:40 hours. The Divisional Police Commander was immediately informed. The WEM Manager was also informed.

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"In the morning of 21/06/05 a combined team of the HSSD, SSD Investigations, the Police and PRO visited the scene of incident, and took some pictures. The SSD and Police Investigation team followed to see the suspect victim in the hospital in Kumasi," the statement said. The Ghana News Agency had reported on Wednesday that AngloGold Ashanti Security on Tuesday June 21 carried out its threat to shoot small-scale gold miners on sight and shot Mr Awudu Mohammed, who had entered the Company's concession in Obuasi. Mohammed is on admission at "Ward B One" of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, after undergoing a surgical operation to have the bullet removed from his body.


When the Ghana News Agency visited the victim at the Hospital, he said he had entered the concession with some people to look for gold but the AngloGold Ashanti Security personnel shot him while attempting to scale a fence to run away. The Police Guard, who had the victim chained to the hospital bed, prevented GNA from continuing with the interview.


Giving a background to the incident, the Assemblyman of Sanso Electoral Area, Mr Benjamin Annan said Officers of AngloGold Ashanti Security, Captain Yaro and one Inspector Gyamfi came to him on Thursday June 16 and asked him to warn his people that AngloGold Ashanti would shoot on sight small-scale gold miners, who entered their concession in Obuasi. He said on Tuesday June 21 AngloGold Ashanti Security carried out their threat and shot Mr Mohammed, who had entered their concession. He said the AngloGold Ashanti Security at first denied shooting the victim and alleged that he was an armed robber.


When the GNA called the AngloGold Ashanti Office in Accra, a Lady, who identified herself only as Millicent, said none of the officers, who could talk to the Agency, was around and declined a request to furnish the Agency with the cell phone number of any of them. Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Kwabena Akuoko Oduro, Obuasi Police Divisional Commander, has confirmed the shooting incident at the Obuasi Mine of AngloGold Ashanti. He told the Ghana News Agency that Police investigations were continuing.

Source: GNA
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