The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has arrested six persons in connection with the missing excavators and other seized equipment from illegal miners in the country.
The suspects include the suspended Central Regional Vice-Chair of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Horace Ekow Ewusie.
According to the CID, these five other arrested individuals are accomplices of Mr. Ewusi who was contracted to take custody of the seized equipment.
They are Frederick Ewusi, Joel Asamoah, Adam Haruna, Frank Gyan and John Arhin.
The Police arrested all of them together with Ekow Ewusi on Monday, February 3, 2020, at Abelemkpe, a suburb of Accra.
How did the excavators get missing
It will be recalled that, at the peak of the fight against illegal mining between 2017 and 2018, about five hundred earth-moving machines were seized by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
The then sector Minister, John Peter Amewu who sanctioned the seizure directed them to be parked at the premises of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation and also Chairperson for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), disclosed recently that most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners had vanished.
The Concerned Small Scale Miners Association subsequently told the Minister that they knew where the missing excavators were.
Ekow Ewusi was contracted by the government to cart excavators and other vehicles and pieces of equipment seized by Operation Vanguard to designated areas for safekeeping.
Horace’s involvement and arrest
A letter sighted by Citi News revealed that Prof. Frimpong-Boateng wrote a letter to the Police CID to investigate Horace Ekow Ewusi over his alleged involvement in the missing earth-moving equipment.
“We have received information that he sent an unknown number of equipment to unauthorised locations, including one in Tema. This one was confirmed by the caretaker of the depot in Tema,” the Minister added in the letter addressed to the CID.
This comes on the back of the exposé by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas on Charles Bissue, a former Secretary to the IMCIM.
Charles Bissue stepped down from the position after he was seen in a video documentary allegedly collecting bribes to facilitate the issuance of mining licences.
Although he has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the police, he is still being investigated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.