The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) is claiming it has launched investigations into reports that some soldiers from its ranks were involved in illegal mining activities in Manso in the Ashanti Region.
Last week, Accra-based Joy News exposed the mafia military cartel providing full-scale protection to dozens of Chinese nationals illegally mining for gold in the forest reserves.
In a press release released on Friday, January 22, 2021, by Colonel Aggrey Quashie, the Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) claim the military hierarchy is not taking the allegations lightly and have launched a probe.
“The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has in recent days taken notice of media reports alleging that some of its personnel have been involved in providing security for illegal mining operations. The GAF takes such allegations seriously as it does not condone such wrongdoing if true,” the military PRO stated.
“Accordingly a full-scale investigation has commenced into the allegations and appropriate sanctions will be handed out to any person(s) found culpable.”
However, critics have wondered how a detachment of soldiers would be out of the barracks without the knowledge of the military High Command, as evidence from the illegal mining concessions show that the rogue soldiers have been camped at the mining site for several days.
According to Joy News, some of the soldiers involved in the guard duty of the illegal mine are reportedly known faces of members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s militia gang who have been conscripted into the army.
These individuals numbering over 30, tried to violently attack a group of a security task force that stormed the illegal mine to arrest the Chinese miners. They attacked the media that accompanied the task force and freed the arrested Chinese miners.
The involvement of the military top brass was revealed by an individual claiming to be a whistleblower within the GAF, saying the illegal mining activities that were discovered at Tontokrom in the Manso Forest, is an operation co-owned by some people in the top echelon of the Army and some Chinese collaborators.
The officer, writing under the pseudonym, ‘Sgt Spears’ has penned an open reaction to the moves by the Army top brass to direct blame to the junior rank officers deployed to the site to guard the illegal Chinese miners.
Sgt Spears, alleges in a 3-page write-up that the illegal mines in question are eleven (11) and that they are co-owned by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Chinese illegal miners.
The alleged Whistleblower adds that the junior officers are ready to face any enquiry.
Sgt. Spears, reveals that they had only carried out guard duties as commanded by the superiors and that they will not allow themselves to be made fall guys for the greed of the ultimate beneficiaries of the illegal mine.
“I am a member of the Ghana Army, Central command Hq, SNCO,it has come to our notice the lies the Military High Command and our Useless GOC is peddling in Daily Guide concerning the TONTOKROM OPERATIONS. We were deployed to TONTOKROM for a day’s operation turn to months and years,” Sgt. Spears wrote.
“June 2019 we were 35 soldiers sent there only for us to guard Chinese people doing illegal miner. my last deployment to TONTOKROM was 23rd Sept 2020 to 28th Dec 2020, we were 35 soldiers plus one officer, 30 soldiers, from Central Command HQ and 5 soldiers from 4 BN of Infantry.”
According to him, their leader was one LT. Owusu Ansah, Adjutant at the Army Central Command.
He further names the other soldiers as WO Senyabor, WO Akwase, WO Gibilim of 4bn, SSgt Quarcoo, SSgt Mohammed also of 4BN, SGT Anyame, SGT Lerbi, S/SGT Oppong, S/SGT Oppong Kyei, SGT Boadu, SGT Sarfo, SGT Boadum and SGT Opoku.
Others are SSgt Nninyim, Cpl Arthur 1, Cpl Arthur 2, l/Cpl Nankong, l/Cpl Kabgetor,
l/Cpl Adira and 14 other soldiers.
S/SSgt Amakyi has been in the forest for over a year doing wood and tree business for the GOC.
“We are been used as slaves in the forest as we have been told by a man called Mr DONALD that the COAS and GOC are shareholders of the Galamsey with the China people. So if we work hard we shall go on operations and get our promotions early,” the alleged soldier revealed.
According to him, they never took a break since their deployment to the site in 2019 and that they were forced to remain on site even during Christmas and were only relieved by another squad on the 28th of December.