–Invisible Forces Attack Journalists and Delete Camera Shots
An anti-illegal mining task force comprising fully armed security officers clashed with another group of soldiers protecting a group of illegal Chinese gold miners in the Manso Forest of the Ashanti Region.
The 30 fully armed soldiers from both sides lunged at each other and almost reached for their triggers when it became apparent that some people in the military high command had delegated some 15 fully armed soldiers to protect the Chinese as they destroy the Manso forest.
This fact was obviously unknown to the task force which had stormed the illegal gold mining concession.
In the scuffle, the soldiers attacked media men that accompanied the task force and deleted the live video footage that the reporters were capturing.
According to Joy News’ Erastus Asare Donkoh, they were lucky enough to retrieve the images from the damaged memory cards in the cameras.
The video has since gone viral with the public expressing utter disgust at the level of official connivance in the destruction of Ghana’s forest reserves in the prevalent illegal mining cartel.
At task force had stormed the mining operations, apparently upon a tip-off and proceeded to arrest the illegal Chinese miners who were involved in illegal mining on the land.
In their search of the makeshift mining camp, the task force discovered standard-issued military fatigues which confirmed that some soldiers were involved in the operations.
The uniforms were confiscated and the wide-eyed Chinese miners were being bundled into the waiting patrol vehicles of the task force when suddenly, one of the soldiers protecting the Chinese appeared and called for backup.
Name tags on the uniforms indicated they belonged to personnel including one Abbey, Amoani, Abdallah, Khamell. As the team was still engrossed in the inspection, one of the soldiers drove a Toyota Tundra into the compound. he would later identify himself as Staff Sergeant Ayertey.
S/Sgt Ayertey would question the team about their mission and when the task force explained that they were at work to arrest illegal miners, he placed a call on his phone to a superior whom he only identified as “I.O.” “I.O this is Staff Sergeant Ayertey sir, we are at here at Kotokrom the hot duties and there are some Policemen and media here,” he was heard saying
In an instant, 30 fully armed soldiers stormed the mining camp and started a confrontation with their colleagues from the anti-illegal mining task force. The heated argument turned physical, with the rogue soldiers freeing the arrested illegal Chinese miners.
As it turned out, these soldiers guarding the illegal mining operations are known members of the Invisible Forces, a militia group affiliated with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
As has been reported widely in the past months, these thugs have been enlisted into the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and are being used as private security guards for all sorts of nefarious activities, including illegal mining that has destroyed a large swathe of Ghana’s forest reserves.
Checks at the Ministry of Environment and Science indicates that one Donald Tuah is the owner of the illegal mining operation being undertaken by a company called Heritage Imperial
Heritage Imperial has only prospecting mining license and could not have been allowed to be openly mining at that rate.
The situation in Manso further reinforces countless reports and allegations that members of the ruling party, including the Minister of Science and Environment, Professor Frimpong Boateng are involved in the illegal mining activities.
Indeed, last year, Prof. Boateng was caught on a secret tape discussing how he was distributing stolen mining excavators to party officials and government ministers to mine their illegal concession. He even went ahead to state that some parts of the proceeds from the mining activities were given to the governing NPP to run the party.
The Invisible Forces detained the media covering the operations and were only released after the intervention of the military High Command.