Two Chinese and a Ghanaian arrested with 21 gold bars
Two Chinese and a Ghanaian are in the grip of the National
Security Secretariat (NSS) in Accra over the movement of
21 gold bars from Gbane in the Talensi District of
the Upper East Region to the national capital.
The three, Rayn Lee, Goa and Michael Atta, were picked up
at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on June 1 when
they touched down from Tamale with the gold bars
said to be valued at about $600,000.
- How to spot a man who wants more than sex from you
- Members of UK-based Nigerian church quarrel over stolen funds
They are said to be workers of Shaanxi Mining (Ghana) Company Limited,
a Chinese firm that was licensed to provide mine support services
to small-scale miners in the Gbane area,
and EARL International Group, a sister firm.
The three are currently in the custody of the national security
body to assist in investigations into the circumstances leading to
the mining and transportation of the precious metal, as well as
the relationship between their companies and Yenyeya
Mining Company Limited, one of the small-scale
mining firms in the area.
The lawyer for Yenyeya, Madam Juliet Dale Agboh,
told Graphic Online last Wednesday that the three persons were
staff of EARL Group, who played various roles in
the illegal mining of gold on his client’s concession.
“These are Chinese who invaded the concession of a small-scale miner,
mined illegally in contravention of Ghanaian laws and they were
caught lifting gold to sell outside Ghana. Now that they are in custody,
my client will cooperate with the NSS and we hope that they
will be charged appropriately after the investigations
and prosecuted for the illegalities committed,” he said.
According to him, although Yenyeya Company Limited brought
Shaanxi Mining to Gbane to provide mine support services,
the Chinese company had created a sister company in EARL
which it used to undertake illegal mining on
the same concession for almost 10 years now.
Madam Agboh said the activities of EARL cost Yenyeya about
$50 million over the period, which it hoped to claim in a civil
proceeding after the criminal prosecution
of the directors of EARL by the State.
When asked why it took her client so long to take action against
the Chinese, the legal representative of Yenyeya said “he had to
choose between life and money and he chose life”.
She, however, added that the situation had gotten to the extent
where they found it necessary to involve the security,
especially after the Chinese firm was not forthcoming
with requests to account for gold mined.
The Public Relations Officer of Shaanxi, Mr Maxwell Wooma,
confirmed to Graphic Online in a separate interview last
Wednesday that some staff members of the company had
been detained by the NSS in Accra to help address concerns
over the quantity of gold mined and transported.
He said the gold was being transported to Accra for
sale to help sustain the company’s operations.
He, however, said he was unaware of the quantity
of the gold in question and the market value.
While also insisting that he did not know the names of
the people involved, Mr Wooma said he was surprised
to hear that the staff were handcuffed and later detained,
given that the issue at hand did not border on criminality
but on a disagreement between the two
partners on the reconciliation of gold mined.
- National Daily Minimum Wage increased by 6%, now ¢12.53
- Infinix launches NOTE 10 Series with Shatta Wale as brand ambassador
- Alleged military brutality at Damongo leaves one in critical condition
He denied allegations that EARL Group was involved in mining,
explaining that Shaanxi was still providing mine support services
to Yenyeya and other small-scale miners while the EARL Group
was working on securing full approval to be able
to undertake large-scale mining in the area.
Mr Wooma expressed the hope that the issue would be resolved
amicably to allow for the sale of the gold to help pay
the salaries of the company’s workers, who were 725 in number.