Some arms seized by residents of Akyem Akanteng from the alleged National Security Operatives are missing.
According to the Asamankese Divisional Police Commander ACP Kankam Boadu, some of the arms were retrieved on Tuesday.
"They identified themselves as National Security Personnel and some of their sidearms and firearms seized by members of the community, we were able to retrieve some of them others are missing so the investigation is ongoing". He said
Meanwhile, armed military personnel on Wednesday morning arrived at the Eastern Regional Police Headquarters to pick the suspected National Security Operatives arrested for engaging in illegal mining at Akyem Akanteng.
The Asamankese Divisional Police Command moved the alleged National Security Personnel arrested for engaging in illegal mining at Akyem Akanteng to the Eastern Regional Police Headquarters in Koforidua on Tuesday.
The first batch was transported to Koforidua by officials of the Forestry Commission while the Police also moved the second batch of suspects arrested later by the residents.
But armed military personnel in the military vehicle came for the suspects and transported them in police branded bus to Accra Wednesday at about 11:00am.
The youth of Akyem Akanteng on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, invaded the Atewa Forest reserve to arrest about seventeen (17) illegal miners including 14 National Security Operatives who claim to be working at the Jubilee House.
The armed National Security Operatives trespassed into the forest reserve at dawn to illegally mine gold however the youth of the community was on alert therefore massed and rounded up the suspects, manhandled and dragged them to the Chiefs' palace before handing them over to the Forestry Commission and Police.
Five vehicles used by the operatives were smashed with some of the tires deflated by the angry youth. The damaged vehicles include a Tundra with registration number NR 9706-20, Toyota Hilux with registration number GT 9683-14, and Nissan Patrol GR with registration number GW 1966-12.
The Asamankese Divisional Police Commander ACP Kankam Boadu narrated that "Police had intelligence that some national security personnel has been accosted at the Akanteng chief's palace. We rushed there and they handed over to us eight men who claim to be National security personnel and three illegal miners. Our interim investigation indicates that the national security personnel came there to mine for gold that is why the town folks were arrested. We rearrested them and sent them to the Regional Police Command to continue with their investigation. Our information is that the forestry Commission had earlier taken some of the national security personnel to the region but we don't know their number".
ACP Kankam Boadu confirmed that the suspects "were manhandled by the members of the community. They identified themselves as National Security Personnel".
The Assembly Member for the Akyem Akanteng Henry Owusu Kesse said for the past three weeks illegal miners from Obuasi, Tarkwa, and other places armed with guns have turned their attention to the area to illegally mine gold in the forest which the community has been fighting against with support of forest guards since the community detests illegal mining.
A chief in the Akyem Akanteng Nana Kwaku Yeboah called on the Minister for Lands and Natural resources Abu Jinapor, to dispatch anti galamsey taskforce to the community to protect the forest.