A former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini says Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, was neck-deep in ‘galamsey’ activities before assuming the position of Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP.
Chairman Wontumi had insisted in an interview on Good Evening Ghana that he’d legal permits for his mining business and denied ever engaging in illegal small-scale mining (‘galamsey’).
He disclosed that former President Mahama at one time arranged for a meeting with him because reports had reached him that he (Wontumi) was engaging in illegal mining and hence there were agitations from his officials for his business to be collapsed.
But he said former President Mahama eventually acknowledged his smartness and even lobbied for him to come on board to support him in politics, after showing proof of his licenses and legal permits backing his operations.
“I told him mining is not a bad thing. Every country needs mining, if you have resources, you need it to develop your…but you have to regularize it or make good policy for it. But to me, I have a legitimate license they’ve signed for me. This is my license, so he sees everything true.”
Reacting to this on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM, the Tamale Central MP said, Wontumi didn’t have authorization for his so-called large scale mining business under the NDC regime.
“He didn’t have license for large scale mining; Nobody gave him permit for large scale mining, and you can find out from the Mineral’s commission. Do you think large scale mining is child’s play? He was using his mining support service as a decoy to engage in ‘galamsey’.”
HANSOL Company Ltd collapse
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, who was the Managing Director of HANSOL Mining Limited in 2013, had his company ransacked by an inter-ministerial task force made up of security personnel on suspicion that the company had brought in some Chinese nationals to engage in illegal mining activities.
The task force, Kasapafmonline.com understands, allegedly made away with some valuables including money, gold and some other equipment and later set the entire place in flames even though they found no foreigner at the site.
Wontumi after the exercise, accused the government which was headed by the immediate past President, John Dramani Mahama, of deliberately targeting his business and destroying it.
He recounted the ordeal he, together with his staff, were subjected to and further disclosed that his company had 500 excavators before the security operatives invaded the precincts of HANSOL Mining but could only account for 200 after the exercise.
Worried about the exercise, he took the matter to court for redress, which reports say attracted a judgement debt worth US$1billion.