Three Yemenis arrested by a combined team of Minerals Commission and Artisanal Small-scale Miners (ASM) taskforce on Monday at Asomdwe, a suburb of Akyem Oda for allegedly engaging in illegal mining have denied being illegal miners.
The taskforce invaded a new mining site being prepared for community mining operation at Akyem Oda in the Eastern Region, destroyed cables and other equipment and arrested the three Yemenis expatriates, and impounded two excavators.
A chief who is also fronting the community mining exercise was also arrested and put behind bars for two days by Police when he went to the Police station to secure bail to the expatriates.
GHOne News checks however indicate that, the Yemenis namely Hussein Ali, Muhammed Omar and Salleh Ali are engineers who were installing Macon SD-400 gold Wash Plant and other equipment which are advanced technology being set up as part of processes to establish an office and infrastructure for Oda Community Mining program on about 100 acre land leased under tributary arrangement by Ghana Consolidated Diamond (GCD) approved by Minerals commission.
A visit to the site observed it is almost 100 meters away from the Birim river.
Three(3) dams have also been created for recycling of water for its intended mining operation using the latest technology being installed by the Yemenis.
Kontoh Owusu Agyekum, Project Coordinator of the Oda Community Mining program said , their preparatory activities were known to the District Security Council, BNI, Regional Security Council, Regional Police Command, Minerals Commission and all other regulatory bodies.
He added that it is therefore disingenuous for anyone to claim they are engaging in illegal mining.
Kontoh Owusu Agyekum alleged that the taskforce stole Ghc30,000 belonging to the expatriates.
Oda Police were reluctant to speak on the matter