Chinese miners pay GH¢700K to Atwima Kwanwoma Assembly for release of seized excavators

Some Chinese miners whose excavators were seized in the Atwima Kwanwoma District in the Ashanti Region have allegedly paid Seven Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢700, 000) to the District Assembly for the release of their seized excavators, had gathered. 
A source at the District Assembly speaking to Abusua FM’s Osei Kwadwo revealed that, somewhere in January this year, the District Assembly seized 12 excavators from some illegal Chinese miners in the area and conveyed them into the district assembly. 
According to the source, just some few days ago, they witnessed the payment of  (GH¢700, 000) by the Chinese Chinese miners before the excavators were released to them.
“Some Assembly members had a meeting with the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atwima Kwanwoma District Nana Okyere Tawiah Antwi, Coordinating Director and District Financial Officer (DFO) and they took the money from the Chinese miners. The Chinese Miners paid Seven Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢700, 000) before the excavators were released to them,” the source said.
The source however revealed that the illegal Chinese miners have sent the excavators to their various mining sites in the constituencies such as Nweneso No 1 and 2 and they are now mining despite the ban on galamsey.
District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atwima Kwanwoma District Nana Okyere Tawiah Antwi disclosed the Assembly released the excavators to the Chinese Miners following the clash between residents and a military/police team over relocation of the district capital from Foase to Twedie.
Three persons were shot dead while others sustained injuries after police officers rained life bullets on the residents on Wednesday February 7, 2017 in the ensuing clash.
The people had held the DCE and his staff hostage for hours at the assembly offices for allegedly trying to move the district from Foase. In their bid to free the DCE and his staff, a team of policemen fired warning shots, some of which allegedly hit more than 20 people.
According to the DCE, the assembly is scared that due to the clash, the people may take the law into their hands and destroy the excavators or set them ablaze in case of any misunderstanding.
He admitted that the Assembly collected an amount of money from the Chinese miners as a penalty before releasing the excavators to them.
Speaking to the residents of Nweneso community, they stated that some Chinese miners are still mining in their community despite the ban against galamsey by the Akufo-Addo’s government.
According to them, some of the Chinese whose excavators were seized were later escorted by the police to their various mining sites.
‘We are appealing to Operation Vanguard, government to be more proactive in the fight against galamsey. Some Chinese miners are still operating in our community and destroying lands and rivers,’ they said.
By: Ghana/ Kwadwo