Operation Vanguard Taskforce has urged the Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Appeatu to punish police officers who were caught together with some five military personnel engaging in illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.
The Ghana Armed Forces revealed it has “severely sanctioned” five soldiers for their involvement in galamsey operations in the Wassa Akropong general area on 30 May 2018.
The soldiers namely 197533 Cpl Mensah S, 199442 Cpl Nkuah P, 199499 Cpl Owoo SB, 203225 L/Cpl Boateng SY and 203538 L/Cpl Obeng S were tried by a Disciplinary Board in accordance with Ghana Armed Forces Rules and Regulations.
A statement signed by the Director Public Relations for the GAF, Colonel Eric Aggrey-Quashie, on Friday, June 8, 2018, noted “With the exception of Cpl. Mensah, who was sentenced to 60 days detention and a reduction in rank from Corporal to Private, the remaining four soldiers were all sentenced to 90 days detention with consequential penalties, including release from the Ghana Armed Forces for services no longer required, after serving their sentences”
But in an interview with an Accra based radio station, Class FM on Monday, June 11, 2018, the Communications Director for the joint-Military/Police Taskforce, Squadron Leader Omane Adjei, revealed that, although the Ghana Armed Forces have done their part in sanctioning the military officers, there were police officers who were also caught engaging in galamsey and need to be punished.
“We (Armed Forces) have punished the military officers who were caught and we want the Police IGP to also do same. This will ensure that the others do not develop the taste to engage in such act”, he explained.
He urged the IGP to sanction the police officers, noting that, if they are reprimanded, it will serve as a deterrent for others who will want to embark on that tangent.
The Akufo-Addo-led government in 2017 set up a joint Police-Military taskforce under the code name "Operation Vanguard" as part of efforts to deal with illegal miners in order to protect water bodies and the environment.