The Bekwai Circuit Court presided over by His Lordship Justice A.W.K Nawurah on Friday, September 14, handed down a 60-month jail term sentence to four illegal small scale miners.Each of them is to serve 15 months in jail.
They are; Simon Nsoh, 40, Yaw Aning, 28, Yaw Appiah 22 and
Hamidu Sulemana, a teenager.
Prosecuting Officer, Detective Inspector Stephen Ofori told the court that the convicts were arrested in the Jeni Forest Reserve near Manso Essumenja in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, mining without license.
He told the court that a team from the Bekwai District Forestry Services Division led by Mr George Agbenowoshie and the Forestry Rapid Response Team effected the arrest as part of their usual operations and monitoring on Monday, September 10, 2018.
He told the court that the illegal miners had caused damage to parts of the Jeni Forest Reserve which is under the supervision of the Bekwai District Forestry Services Division in the Ashanti Region.
Speaking to Power News after the court verdict, the Bekwai District Forestry Manager, Mr George Agbenowoshie commended the court for the swift action and assured his outfit will ensure that persons involved in illegal mining activities in the forest are brought to book.
He also called on stakeholders to provide his office with information to help fight illegal miners.
Concerns have been raised over the increasing spate of illegal mining activities in our various forests and water bodies.
Experts say over $30billion worth of illegally mined gold is smuggled from Ghana every year.
Government early last year commissioned a joint police-military contingent to fight the menace.
Dubbed, Operation Vanguard, thousands of illegal miners including foreign nationals have been arrested and have been prosecuted.
Government, early this year rolled out plans to curb the menace after placing a ban on all gold mining activities.
Story by: Jonathan Ofori /Ghana/mypowerfmonline.com