[QODLink]
Africa

Ghana arrests Chinese over 'illegal mining'

Police detain 161 Chinese citizens, with Ghana's immigration service announcing they will all be deported back home.

Last Modified: 07 Jun 2013 18:48
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Police in Ghana have arrested 161 Chinese citizens over allegations of illegal mining, immigration and Chinese embassy officials have said.

"The Ghanaians have claimed that those Chinese are engaged in illegal mining," Yu Jie told the AFP news agency in the capital Accra on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Ghana's immigration service said that all those arrested would be deported to China.

He said the miners were arrested between Saturday and Wednesday.

Their number brings to 181 the total figure of Chinese that the country's immigration office has detained within the past month in this African nation.

Isaac Kojo Abraham, Senior Public Relations Officer at the Ghana Minerals Commission, said on Thursday that "all such people doing illegal mining in Ghana without the requisite documentation will be flushed out".

It was unclear if they would be charged in court in Ghana, Africa's second largest producer of gold, before being deported.

Crackdown 

The arrests took place across the country, including in the central Ashanti region, long known for its rich gold veins.

President John Dramani Mahama last month inaugurated a task force to clamp down on illegal miners.

Known as galamsey, illegal mining is blamed for exacerbating land conflicts, causing runoff that pollutes water supplies and putting miners at risk of injury.

A collapse at a gold mine in central Ghana that was being excavated in April killed 17 people.

Many Chinese are involved in small-scale mining, often crossing illegally from neighbouring countries to work on concessions. Ghanaian law prohibits foreigners from engaging in small-scale mining.

A nation of 25 million, Ghana also has a booming trade in cocoa and it began producing oil in 2010. Its reliance on gold is expected to decrease as oil production increases.

Ghana made $4.9bn from gold exports in 2011, according to the Bank of Ghana.

Viewed as a success story in often turbulent west Africa, the country saw its economy grow by 14 percent in 2011, boosted by exports of gold, cocoa and oil.

324

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list