The Upper West (UW) Regional Police Command has arrested 13 suspected galamsey operators (illegal miners) around Jirapa Municipal area of the Region in a swift operation based upon a tipoff.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Edward Oduro-Kwarteng, the Deputy UW Regional Police Commander, confirmed the arrest to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Thursday.
He said the suspected persons who were grabbed on Wednesday included 10 men and three women, totalling 13, and not 18 as quoted by GNA sources.
He added that the illegal mining operators had been placed in police custody and were being processed for the law court.
Activities of illegal miners in the region stepped up in recent years and caused devastating damage to the environment including; pollution of water bodies and land vegetation, forcing officials to ban the illegal acts.
Following the ban, several attempts have been made by security agencies to monitor galamsey sites and ensure protection of the environment.
Members of the Media Coalition Against Galamsey early this month also held series of town hall meetings in the region to highlight mass destruction caused to Ghana’s environment.
The arrests made by the police have been described as a good step by many people there but wondered if harsher punishment would be handed down to those that would be found culpable.