Illegal Mining in Ghana BNI report names top galamsey kingpins

The report, commission by the Akufo-Addo administration, and first reported by Accra-based Joy FM fingers politicians such as Benson Baba Tongo, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Talensi in the Upper East Region (UER).

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A leaked report by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has  named some prominent politicians, chiefs and top security officials as the kingpins behind the illegal mining (Galamsey) in the country.

The report, commission by the Akufo-Addo administration, and first reported by Accra-based Joy FM, fingered politicians such as Benson Baba Tongo, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Talensi in the Upper East Region (UER).

Bunyak Kolog, an alleged financier of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Talensi constituency, was also accused by the report of engaging in galamsey.

While an unnamed official at the Precious Minerals Office at Bolgatanga was also found to be financing galamsey activities in areas such as Gbane, Blung and Datoku – all in the Talensi District.

Pulse.com.gh cannot independently verify the report.

Meanwhile, Mr Tongo has denied that he is involved in galamsey. He told Joy FM that he has a legal mining license.

The report further accused chiefs in the  Ahanta West District of the Western Region of supporting galamsey.

According to the report, the chiefs are involved in galamsey in towns like Adieworsu, Jumako, Abura, Tonru and Mempeasem.

In addition, it said the chief of Bokorkope in the Shama District of Western Region, Nana Issah Muni, acquired a concession from the Minerals Commission under the pretext of winning sand, but ended up using it for illegal mining activities.

The report has also indicted the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bupong Construction Limited at Twifo Praso in the Central Region, Prince John Baidoo, for engaging in alluvial and surface illegal mining in the Twifo Praso, Beposo, Sekyere-Krobo, Sekyere-Didieso, Basase and Sekyere-Nsuta areas of the Central and the Western Regions.

According to the report, galamsey is taking place in eight out of the ten regions of Ghana.

The two regions with no record of galamsey are the volta and the Greater Accra Region.

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