A Sekondi High Court yesterday, again, refused to grant bail to ten suspects, five Chinese and five Ghanaians, who were arrested last month by the Western Regional Police Command, for allegedly engaging in illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey’ in River Ankobra, in the Bamianko corridor of the Nzema East municipality of the Western Region.
The court, presided by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, remanded them into prison custody to appear again on Monday, April 24.
Their pleas were, however not taken.
The Chinese suspects are Dong Cheng,30, Hung Jian, 51, Ning Guorui, 42, Yin Biquiang,46, Li Zilong, 44, and their five Ghanaian collaborators are, Eric Owusu, 28, Kwabena Adjei,50, Nana Adu,42, Kwasi Owusu,28 and Kofi Darko.
Earlier after their arrest,the suspects were arraigned before the Sekondi Magistrate Court, but they were released, re-arrested and arraigned before the High Court on Monday, March 27, and remanded to appear again yesterday.
The prosecutor, Senior State Attorney, Mr. George Sackey, told the court that the police were still investigating the matter and requested that the suspect be remanded into custody.
However, counsel for the suspects, Stephen Alewabah, arguing for bail, said the Chinese were resident in Ghana, and the Ghanaian suspects were only assisting them in their operations.
The judge hoped that by the next appearance date, the prosecution would have sought the services of a certified Chinese interpreter.
On Monday, March 27, The Ghanaian Times reported that the 10 suspects were arrested on River Ankobra, by the police to stem illegal mining.
Police investigations indicated that the Chinese after mining and selling gold to dealers, repatriate the proceeds to their home country (China).
“The operation is part of the resolve of the command to check illegal mining activities in the region and when we receive such complaints we act on them,” the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, told the Ghanaian Times at the weekend.
She said “suspect stated that they sold their gold to one Wang Weng at Wassa Akropong in the Wassa Amenfi District of the Western Region on March 23, but, the money had been transferred to China”.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi