86 illegal miners who entered Obuasi mine underground in police custody

86 illegal miners who entered Obuasi mine underground in police custody

Eighty-six illegal miners who entered the underground of Obuasi Mine of Anglogold Ashanti in Ghana have been arrested by the police.


They were all picked up when they exited the underground through one of the main shafts of the mining company into the waiting arms of the police and security personnel of the biggest gold mining company in Ghana.

The suspects are currently in police custody being processed for court. 

They reportedly entered the underground using unapproved routes.

However, the mining company reportedly sealed the unapproved routes and so the illegal miners had no option than to exit through the main shaft.

Three of them managed to escape arrest, according to the police.

About 38 of them came out first and they were arrested.

It first started with seven illegal miners who exited a shaft on Monday (May 29, 2023) and were arrested.

The rest did not want to come out so they sent out an alarm that they have been trapped in the underground.

This resulted in tension in the gold mining town of Obuasi and resulted in family members of the said suspects massing up in town and staging a protest.

Protesters clash with soldiers 

Heavily armed police and soldiers fired shots to disperse the protesters, amid the crackdown on the illegal miners.

Reports then trickled in on Tuesday that hundreds of other miners were trapped underground.

The management of the Obuasi Mine responded on Tuesday and said nobody was trapped and that those underground were reluctant to get out, fearing they will be arrested.

AngloGold said in a statement on Tuesday that “unauthorised persons underground are able to exit.”

“No person underground has been confined in any way and the main exit ramp from the mine remains open,” the company said

Relatives argued that the illegal miners had been trapped for days without food or water.

Dozens who got out were arrested for operating illegally in the area.

As of Thursday morning (June 1, 2023), all those who were reportedly underground, said to have been trapped had exited with 86 of them being arrested and placed in police custody.

Authorities however said despite the incident, new persons were still sneaking into the underground.

The menace of illegal miners sneaking into the underground of the 126-year-old Obuasi Mine is something the mining company has been dealing with over the years.


Read also: No one trapped in AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi underground mine - Management

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