Ghanaian authorities have arrested 45 more Chinese miners from gold pits in the capital, Accra, since they handcuffed 124 alleged illegal workers last week.
The arrests have increased tensions between China-whose extended presence and financial investments in Africa grow by the day-and the African nation. Job competition, China's vested oil interests and a decimated landscape have led Ghanaians to take action-and take action they did, bringing in truckloads of Chinese illegals to police stations around the city last Thursday.
"It's an ongoing operation," immigration spokesperson in Ghana told the New York Times. He said that the Chinese workers used "unapproved routes" to enter the country, or else they got temporary visas to work there and simply stayed. He added that the arrests will continue "until we are clear that such kind of illegalities have ceased."
According to the New York Times, the mines have burned holes all over the hills of Accra, dirtied water and heightened claims that Chinese miners do not take care of their mining sites, in addition to using Ghanaians to employ small-scale mining that Ghana's law prohibits foreigners from doing.
A Chinese miner was shot dead by Ghanaian forces in October, making the tensions spike even further.
The Chinese have grown worried that anyone could be next in line for arrest-so worried, in fact, that many of them have sought refuge in various hiding spots.
One miner hid inside a Chinese company in Obuasi, a large mining town in Ghana, for a couple weeks.
"If we all go back home, the economy of Shanglin will go backward at least 20 years," he said. "Who dares to be still operating the mine? We've all closed and been looking for places to hide. The Ghanaian authorities hunted us down in Chinese restaurants and hotels. Once they caught us, they took all our cash and cellphones."
And yet, the miner, who only gave the New York Times his last name, said that the Chinese government did no better: "Our phone calls to the Chinese Embassy in Ghana always went unanswered."