Ghanaian, Chinese ‘galamseyers’ granted bail

The five  Chinese  and  five Ghanaians,  who were arrested  in March, this year, by the Western Regional Police Command,  in the Bamianko corridor of the Nzema East municipality of the Western Region, were  yesterday,  granted  bail by  a Sekondi High Court.

The  Chinese: Dong Cheng,unemployed,30, Hung Jian, engineer, 51, Ning Guorui, welder, 42,Yin Bi Quiang, spare parts dealer, 46, Li Zilong, cook/farmer, 44, were  granted a self-congnisance bail,  and also  ordered  to deposit their passports to  the court.

Additionally, the court presided by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, ordered that the photographs and fingerprints of the Chinese should be taken for the records.

The five  Ghanaian collaborators,  Eric Owusu, carpenter, 28; Kwabena Adjei, small scale miner, 5; Nana Adu Ackah Mensah,farmer, 42; Kwasi Owusu, unemployed, 28, and Kofi Darko, driver, 21, were also  granted bail in the sum of GHc100,000 each , with one surety to be justified.

They will appear again in court on Monday, May 15.

The  accused have  been  charged  with conspiracy to conduct illegal mining  in  River Ankobra and  also undertaking small scale mining without licence.

They pleaded not guilty to causing intentional and unlawful damage to property in a manner likely to cause danger to life, pollution of water.

Meanwhile, the five Chinese had also been charged for disregarding a directive and obligation imposed under the Immigration Act.

Counsel for the accused, Mr. Stephen Alewabah, said that the accused had been in custody for more than four weeks, and pleaded that they should be granted bail.

 

Earlier,  Detective Inspector Musah Seidu, a  police  photographer, led  by the  prosecutor , Senior State Attorney George Sackey , told the court that in the early part  of March 2017, the Regional Crime Office, in Sekondi,had a tip-off that some Ghanaians and Asians had invaded  the bank of River Ankobra and were engaged in illegal  mining on the river bed.

He said the Regional Police Command on March 24,  arrested the suspects while busily engaging in alluvial mining.

Mr. Sackey had told the court that investigations showed that the accused had no authorisation from the Environmental Protection Agency and Minerals Commission to engage in mining.

The court had ordered seizure of the boat used by the accused in their activities on River Ankobra.

From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi

 

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