Forty-two suspected illegal miners were arrested on the River Offin at Manso Asaman and Essienkyem in the Ashanti Region in December last year.
The illegal miners were arrested by the police, in collaboration with the Amansie West District Assembly and the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners.
Some of the illegal miners were arrested by the team on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The team also seized and destroyed 86 pieces of mining equipment in the course of the arrests, in line with the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Amansie West District Chief Executive, Mr William Bediako Asante, said 17 other illegal miners who had earlier been arrested and put before court were each fined GH¢12,000.
He said four of them who could not pay the fine were serving jail sentences of four-and-a-half months each.
He explained that the exercise became necessary because the illegal miners were flouting the moratorium placed on small-scale mining by the government.
He stated that the assembly would not allow some few greedy individuals to destroy river bodies, lands and forest areas just for their parochial interest, adding that the directive by the government to halt small-scale mining activities was to allow for some lull to provide the government and stakeholders with the opportunity to chart a new way forward.
Mr Asante commended the police and the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners for their support in dealing with what he described as “nation wreckers”.
“Let me warn those who still engage in illegal or small-scale mining to halt their activities because when they are arrested, they will be made to face the full rigours of the law,’’ he said.