29 illegal miners remanded in custody

Twenty-nine suspected illegal miners believed to be from Mali and Niger who were arrested by a team of joint Rapid Task Force in the Atiwa Rain Forest Reserve have been remanded into police custody to appear before court on January 31.

The suspects include Mohamed Umar, 30, Mohamed Haruna, 24, Amadu Basar 35, Dawuda Danjima, 34, Amar Mahamadu, 24, Kasim Brahima, 35, Mohamed Abubakar, 32, Citah Zibo, 18, Hamidu Amadu, 18, Musah Idrisu, 32, Mukaila Bomboro, 45, Musah Iddrisu, 32, and Abdulai Umar, 18.

The rest were Zibo Alidu, 35, Umaru Suleman, 39, Abdul-Malik Hudu, 22, Haruna Mumuni, 30, Abdul Karim, 38, Bukari Musah, 35, Musah Ahmed, 24,  Salley Adom, 22, Mukaila Salifu, 36, Yakubu Adamu, 17, Yaw Deviay, 38, Fuseini Amadu, 19, Bubrat Jafah, 19, Karim Gabriel, 34, Hamza Godjah, 17, Namoh Keita, 26 and Gabriel Amadu, 25.

They were arrested  last Thursday evening by the Rapid Task Force made up of Forestry Commission, military and police personnel in the Atiwa District of the Eastern Region at about 5: 30 pm.

The Forestry Commission said it had information some nationals suspected to be from Niger and Mali had entered the Atiwa Rain Forest and operating illegally with devices that can detect gold reserve and possible prospecting.

Forestry officials urged the police and the law courts to ensure the arrested were prosecuted and a deterrent punishment given to protect the Forest Reserve.

The Eastern Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Yaw Nketia Yeboah told The Ghanaian Times that the suspected illegal miners have been handed over to the Regional Police Command for further investigation.

The Atiwa Forest range contains the headwaters of three river systems, the Ayensu, Densu, and Birim Rivers from which many Ghanaians get their source of water supply.

From: David Kodjo, Koforidua.

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