The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has arrested 40 foreigners for illegally operating small scale mining business in the Central Region.
The suspects, including Filippinos, Sri Lanka Indians and Chinese, were arrested on December 8 and 10 in special operations.
They are in custody of the Immigration Service, assisting with investigations. Their arrest comes weeks after the repatriation of 11 foreigners; nine Chinese and two Russians, who were working in small scale mining sites in the Western Region without requisite working documents.
Head of the Public Affairs Directorate of GIS, Mr Francis Palmdeti, said although the laws of the country does not bar foreigners from entering the country to either visit or do-business, it would not countenance underhand dealings from them.
He said Ghana is recognised and respected worldwide not only as a beacon for its peaceful environment and democratic dispensation but also because of the warmth and friendliness of her people.
Mr Palmdeti said Ghana “will not tolerate acts of wrongdoing on the part of foreigners who want to take the leniency of the country to be weakness to engage in illegal activities”.
Mr Palmdeti said following information that some foreigners were involved in illegal mining activities in the Upper Denkyira area in the Central Region, surveillance was mounted by Enforcement Unit and they managed to arrest the suspects.
They were apprehended working with mining machines such as excavators and pumping machines in the Offin River and surrounding for some mining firms, he said.
Mr Palmdeti said when the suspects were interrogated they claimed that they were invited by Ghanaians companies to visit the place for possible investment.
A search on them that they were working with visiting permits which had expired.
“At the time of the arrest, none of them could provide their passports claiming that the passports were with their bosses in Tema”.
Mr Palmdeti noted that further investigations indicated that the passports were with one Chinese called Jackie at Tema but when he was contacted no passport was found. He also could not produce his own passport, claiming it was with his friend who was in London.
It also emerged that though he (Jackie) had been in the country for eight months, he had no work and resident permit and in the course of the interrogation, he attempted to bribe the investigatiors with an amount of 2,000 dollars. He was subsequently arrested and placed in GIS custody.