29 galamseyers fined GH¢15.9 million

workers at galamsey site

workers at galamsey site

The Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’ yesterday convicted the 29 illegal miners who were arrested in the Atiwa Forest Reserve on January 26, this year, to a total fine of GH¢15.6million

In default, the illegal miners will serve a total 139 years in prison.

The convicts are Mohammed Omar, Mohammed Haruna, Amadu Basar, Dauda Zinjima, Amar Mohamed, Kassin Bramah, Mahamudu Arubakari and Sitah Zibo.

Others are Hamidu Amadu, Musah Iddrisu, Munkaila Bomboro, Omaru Sulemana, Addul M. Hudu, Zibo Alibu, Haruna Mumuni, Abdulai K. Kibo, Bukari Musah, Musah Ahmed and Sulley Aadum.

 

The rest are Munkaila Salifu, Yakuba Adamu, Yao Denay, Fuseini Amadu, Gubar Jatah, Barim Sribil, Hamza Gudiah Nameh Keita and Jibril Amidu.

They were found guilty of three counts; conspiracy to commit crime, illegal mining and mining without licence by the court which was presided over by Mercy Adei Kotei.

Three of the convicts who are Ghanaians were fined 2,500 penalty units equivalent to GH¢30,000 each and in default serve three years, while the other 26 convicts, all foreigners were fined 50,000 penalty units equivalent to GH¢600,000 each or in default serve a five-year jail each. The 26 are from Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Mali and Togo.

Ruling on the case, the Judge said, claims of the accused persons of hunting for grass cutter and birds in the forest reserve during the time of their arrest could not be backed by any evidence.

She said no weapon was found on the accused to justify the hunting claims but mining equipment were rather retrieved during the arrest

The court said that the convicts provided conflicting evidence indicating they were deceiving the court.

Prosecuting, the Deputy Eastern Regional State Attorney, Cyril Boateng Keteku, indicated that the convicts were arrested by a taskforce made up of police, military and personnel of the Forestry Services Division.

He stated that on January 26, 2017, the taskforce on their routine patrols in the forest, chanced upon the accused persons at about 5am using sophisticated mining equipment to excavate the soil to prospect for gold and other minerals in the forest reserve without licence.

The prosecutor further explained that the team succeeded in arresting 29 of them, after which they were escorted to the regional police command in Koforidua, where they were interrogated ahead of prosecution.

The prosecutor added that the convicts could not produce any licence authorising their mining activities, hence they were charged with three counts each of conspiracy to mine without licence, mining without licence and trespassing of forest reserves.

From: David Kodjo, Koforidua          

 

 

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