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OSP investigates activities of 'big wigs' in illegal mining

Galamsey 32312 An aerial view of a galamsey site

Wed, 4 Jan 2023 Source: GNA

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has commenced investigations into the activities of some officials in key institutions in respect of illegal small-scale mining. 

The investigation targets some officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission. 

In its Half Quarterly Report for December 2022, the OSP said it was also investigating the activities of and expenditure of the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), especially in respect of the seizure and management of excavators, machinery, road vehicles, and gold nuggets. 

“The investigation further targets the activities of Akonta Mining Limited and other companies; nationals of foreign countries allegedly involved in illegal mining; and allegations of corruption and corruption-related offences against some Municipal and District Chief Executives,” the Report said. 

At the height of illegal mining activities in 2017, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo put his presidency on the line to demonstrate his commitment to end the canker. 

After successive campaigns and policies targeted at tackling the menace head-on, the situation lingered. 

The danger of illegal mining is evident in the turbidity levels of the country’s water bodies, with the Ghana Water Company Limited warning that it may not be able to process water for the populace in the near future if the destruction persisted. 

In October last year, some religious leaders, after witnessing the extent of destruction to the county’s forest cover by the activities of illegal miners, called on the Government to ban all small-scale mining activities to restore order and sanity in the sector. 

The OSP said it had concluded investigations into two cases of corruption and corruption-related offences while investigations into more than 120 suspected corruption related cases were ongoing. 

The concluded investigations included allegations of the use of public office for profit against Charles Bissue, during his tenure as Secretary to the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM). 

The other case involves an investigation into the quantum of the contract sum in respect of a contract awarded by the Northern Development Authority to A&QS Consortium Limited for consultancy services under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP). 

The Office said it will issue directives and further action on the matter in due course. 

The other cases that are being investigated by the OSP include: suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of Charles Adu Boahen, a former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance; the termination of a Distribution, Loss Reduction and Associated Network Improvement Project contract between the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited and Beijing Xiao Cheng Technology (BXC), and the procurement of and the award of a contract to Turfsport Ghana Limited by the Gaming Commission of Ghana. 

The OSP said it was also investigating alleged corruption and corruption-related offences perpetrated by some officials of the Bank of Ghana, banks, specialised deposit-taking institutions, and financial holding companies in respect of the banking and financial sector crisis. 

Source: GNA
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