Minister of National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah, has warned that terrorists may take advantage of the illegal small-scale mining activities otherwise known as galamsey in the country.
The minister explained in a Press Briefing in Accra that the terrorists could capitalise on the revenue generated from galamsey to fund their criminal activities.
The minister cited Burkina Faso and Mali as countries where terrorists have been attracted to gold mining areas.
Kan Dapaah, however, assured that the Ministry of National Security has taken cognizance of the development and is working hard to avert the consequences.
He gave an update on the Accra Initiative, which aims to prevent the spillover of terrorism from the Sahel and to address transnational organised crime and violent extremism in ECOWAS member countries’ border areas.
“In Mali, in Burkina Faso, the terrorists have always been attracted to gold mining areas. Clearly, they try to make money from gold mining activities to undertake the criminal activities that they do.
“The criminals may want to take advantage of galamsey activities in our country to raise money to do what they do in other countries and what they may plan to do in our country.
“We are aware of this. We are studying it. We do know what has to be done in this area, and we work hard to make sure we are not overtaken by events. But clearly, one way that you can make cheap money to go and undertake some of these criminal activities is galamsey, so it’s of interest,” he said.
The West African sub-region has been confronted with terrorist threats, as Ghana’s neighbours Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso have suffered attacks from terror groups in recent times.
The development has compelled the government to launch the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which is aimed at encouraging citizens to report any suspicious activity.
Meanwhile, galamsey activities have come under scrutiny following the rearrest of Chinese galamsey kingpin Aisha Huang together with three other accomplices.
Water bodies and vegetative cover continue to be degraded by galamsey activities, with the Ghana Water Company Limited warning that it may soon shut down its facilities in some operational areas due to the high turbidity levels of the water.