Member of Parliament for Juaboso Constituency on the ticket of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Western Region, Hon. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, claims the much-talked about missing excavators are secretly being moved back from their hideouts to the appropriate place.
According to him, the resurfacing of the missing excavators is based on the public backlash, forcing the government to clandestinely move the seized excavators to their rightful place near the Aviation Social Center.
“Vanished” excavators flying back to base
Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Hon. Mintah Akandoh stressed that he personally witnessed some of these earth-moving equipment being driven to the Centre on Monday.
He added that the excavators cannot belong to individuals since they were being carted to a security zone.
” . .there was even a military officer in a Land Rover who came out of his car and exchanged pleasantries to the watchman at the place…
“. .My strong suspicion which is my humble opinion is that the excavators which vanished into thin air have suddenly developed wings to fly back one after the other. In fact, it is based on my suspicion that I followed the payloader carrying the excavators to see where they were being carried to,” he asserted.
Missing excavators saga
The current hullabaloo over some missing excavators seized from some illegal miners sums up the challenges in the country’s fight against galamsey.
In 2017, government set up a joint military/police task force, Operation Vanguard and later the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Mining to stem the tide of the galamsey menace.
However, their operations have been without controversy or incidents of crimes as three members of the Operation Vanguard team were arrested for their alleged involvement in a bribery and extortion racket.
A few weeks ago, reports emerged that about 500 excavators have gone missing after they were seized by the Operation Vanguard team.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng, the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), who announced that the excavators had vanished, subsequently issued a letter directing the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to arrest and interrogate one Ekow Ewusi, after learning that he reportedly sold some of the confiscated items from illegal miners.
Subsequently, a video making the rounds on social media indicates how the Committee reportedly engaged some party folks on some mining concessions in order to raise money from the illegal activities to support the NPP.
No evidence but …
While admitting that he has no evidence to conclude the earth-moving equipment was part of the missing excavators, the NDC MP was emphatic that once they are being relocated to a security zone, they are part of the seized excavators gone “missing”.
“Where the seized excavators are parked at the Aviation center, I saw some of the excavators being moved to the place described as a security zone. I followed up when I saw the excavators being carted and they were taken to the security zone. Because I wanted evidence, I got down from my car…
“What I saw was that there were parked excavators near the Aviation Center and they were bringing in others and that is what I saw yesterday. Before the issue of missing excavators started, I have been observing that they have been moving the excavators at night to places to engage in galamsey,” he alleged again.
“For me, I am attesting to what I saw yesterday with my naked eyes at the Aviation Center; whether they are going to use the excavators to catch fish or put up story-buildings, only God knows. What I can attest to is the account I have given, because I followed the payloader carrying the excavators to the Aviation Center,” he insisted.