The Special Prosecutor on Monday, October 10, 2022, announced the commencement of an investigation into suspected corruption and corruption-related offenses in respect of illegal small-scale mining, also known as galamsey.
In a statement signed by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, the office named some public institutions, individuals, and a private company as the subjects of the investigation.
State Institutions and Officials
In the list of the Special Prosecutor, the investigation into galamsey-related issues targets officials of the Lands Commission, the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources, and the Forestry Commission.
The target of the investigation also includes the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Commission on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
The investigation, according to the OSP, will focus on the activities and expenditure of the Committee “especially in respect of the seizure and management of excavators, machinery, road vehicles, and gold nuggets.”
The investigation will also cover the ongoing investigations into the allegations of use of public office for profit against the secretary of the IMCIM, Charles Bissue.
“The investigation includes the active and ongoing inquiry into allegations of use of public office for profit against Charles Bissue, during his tenure as Secretary to the IMCIM, arising from an investigative documentary titled Galamsey Fraud Part I, published by Tiger Eye P.I.” the statement said.
The investigation, according to the OSP, will also look into “allegations of corruption and corruption-related offences against some Municipal and District Chief Executives and political party officials.”
Private company’s including Wontumi’s Akonta Mining
The OSP’s investigation will also target the activities of private mining companies as well as local and foreign nationals involved in illegal mining.
In that regard, specific mention was made of Akonta Mining Company Limited, owned by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Bernard Antwi Boasiako alias Wontumi.
“The investigation further targets the activities of Akonta Mining Limited and other companies; nationals of foreign countries allegedly involved in illegal mining,” the OSP’s statement said.
The announcement of the investigation comes on the back of renewed public conversation on illegal mining activities and its impact on Ghana’s water and forest bodies.
Rampant illegal mining activities have resulted in the degradation of several forest covers, and the pollution of various water bodies.
In a recent statement, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, accused Akonta Mining Company of illegally entering the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve to mine gold.