The Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfour has accused some members of Operation Vanguard team of taking bribe from some illegal miners in the region.

Darfuor said that this is bad because it does not allow for all the illegal miners to be arrested and prosecuted.

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“The Vanguard people allow some of the youth in the region to bribe them, this is bad, how can this go on…this is a serious issue.”

He, however, acknowledged that the Operation Vanguard team has managed to arrest several illegal miners in a bid to stop galamsey.

“The Vanguard people have, however, done well. They have arrested a lot of people and most of them are in jail. They should not think of releasing their confiscated equipment.”

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The joint military/police task-force set up to enforce the ban on illegal mining, to help save the environment, has so far arrested 362 suspected illegal miners including some Chinese nationals, and has seized a number of mining equipment.

Twenty-four (24) of those arrested have been convicted by the courts with some of them sentenced to fines ranging from GH¢1,080.00 to GH¢6,000.00, while others have been jailed – doing between four and 18 months.

‘Operation Vanguard’ was officially inaugurated on July 31, to enforce the ban on illegal and small-scale mining across the country.