Police did not take custody of any excavators as alleged by Ellembelle DCE

The Western Regional Police Command has noted with concern a report in the Friday, September 2, 2022, edition of the Chronicle newspaper which alleges that some two excavators which were in the custody of the Police at Ellembelle have disappeared.

Galamsey excavators

We wish to categorically state that no excavators were handed over to the police by the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzo, or any other person from the assembly.

We, therefore, urge the public to disregard the publication and treat it with the contempt it deserves.

Meanwhile, the DCE, his personal assistant, and one other are being investigated in connection with the alleged missing excavators.

We wish to assure the public that anybody implicated in the course of the investigation will be taken through the due process of the law.

The DCE narrating the incident said after the excavators were left at the police station, the police command initially said they were no police officers to guard the excavators but later said he would provide two officers under the condition that they guard it till 6 pm.

He said "I received a distress call from the Headmaster of NASS about an illegal mining operation vigorously ongoing on a section of their property. Immediately after, another call came from a member of the District Small Scale Mining Committee with the same complaint. So, I called the Divisional Police Commander about it and told him the team has been able to track the machine to Teleku Bokazu and needed men to protect them while we look for a vehicle to convey them to a safer location."

He continued: "To my dismay, the Divisional Police Commander told me there are no men to undertake my request. I was scandalized. Because what I was expecting is that, he will make it a priority and treat it with dispatch considering the priority the President and his government have given to illegal mining. Well, after several minutes of back and forth, the Divisional Commander agreed to release two men but said that the men can only protect the machines until 6 pm.

"You should have seen my reaction on the phone. For more than 18 minutes, I tried to convince the Divisional Commander of the need to give maximum protection. But his answer was the same… What can I do, because as a DCE all I can do is to alert and if it becomes difficult, arrest but the final action should be taken by the police? So, the two men came."

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