Akufo-Addo’s govt is protecting Heritage Mining, others Prof. Frimpong-Boateng alleges

The former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has accused the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government of protecting illegal miners (galamseyers) operating in Ghana.

Speaking in an interview on AFRICAWATCH magazine, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng alleged that one of the galamsey companies the government is protecting is Heritage Imperial Mining Co. Ltd, which he said is represented by the president’s cousin, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko.

He said that Heritage Imperial and the other companies have no valid license but are protected as they continue to destroy Ghana’s forests.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who was the chairman of the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), added that he reported persons involved in galamsey, including Gabby and the former Chief Executive Office of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Sir John, to the Cabinet and the president, but no action was taken.

“At least on four or five occasions, I made presentations at cabinet meetings, and I did a presentation one time at a cabinet retreat in Peduase and another one in Aburi. I also briefed the Council of State. But there were a few occasions when I went to the president directly to inform him about some of the unpleasant happenings.

“For instance, I reported his cousin Gabby Otchere Darko to him for insisting that his client, Heritage Imperial Mining Co. Ltd, had a valid mining license and all necessary permits, when we all knew that the company didn’t have any document permitting it to undertake active mining, notwithstanding the environmental degradation it was causing,” he is quoted to have said in the 2023 October/November edition of the AFRICAWATCH magazine.

He added, “I also reported the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias Sir John, who was the head of the Forestry Commission to the president for granting 47 forestry entry permits to mining companies for prospecting activities within forest reserves, despite a total ban on such activities, and that Sir John even had a group of Chinese mining for him. The president told me: “Professor, leave it with me, I will deal with them.” But nothing happened”.

He went on to say that some of the illegal mining companies were even protected by the Ghana Armed Forces.

“One of the worst offenders was Heritage Imperial Mining Co. Ltd, formerly known as C&G Aleska, run by one Donald Entsuah. This company flouted the mining laws and regulations with such daring impunity and the destruction that it has caused to farmlands, forests, and water bodies in the Manso area in the Ashanti Region is enormous. Even soldiers from the Ghana Armed Forces were protecting Heritage Imperial’s illegal operations. The IMCIM Task Force team raided their site and attempted to stop them.”

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