Court declines to try 2 accused of ‘galamsey’ without Chinese accomplice
The Asante Bekwai Circuit Court has declined to try two persons accused of illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ without their Chinese accomplice.
William Boateng and Thompson Yomah were arrested and charged together with Li Yanbao, a Chinese.
However, the Chinese was granted police enquiry bail and has since not been brought to court.
When Boateng and Yomah were arraigned in December 2022, the court ordered the police to bring the Chinese to court, but to no avail.
The court presided over by Mr Mark Tairimah Diboro said “You have been selective because one is white and the other is black. I will adjourn and take action. Do not discriminate against Ghanaians and Chinese. If the Chinese had not hired the accused to assist, would they be arraigned? In this country of their own origin, you discriminate against them.”
The judge said “If you do not bring A3 (the third accused person- Yanbao), I won’t try the accused. I will discharge them,” and adjourned the case to May 10, 2023.
Prosecuting, Police Inspector Eric Okyere had earlier told the court that accused, Boateng 26, was excavator operator, and Thompson Yomah, 24, was excavator operator apprentice.
They were arraigned for conspiracy, providing excavator for illegal mining and engaging in illegal mining at Manso Esiana, near Manso Antoakroaa.
Insp Okyere said Li Yanbao, 38, a miner, Boateng and Yomah, have been charged with undertaking illegal mining.
The prosecution said Boateng was a resident of Atwima Bawku and Yomah lived at Manso Esiana while Yanbao resided in Kumasi.
Insp Okyere said there had been an upsurge in illegal mining within the jurisdiction resulting the destruction of farmlands, forests, and polluting water bodies.
He said the Bekwai Police, therefore, set up a unit to arrest offenders.
Insp Okyere said on December 28, 2022, at about 8.40 am, the Ashanti South Regional Police Patrol Team arrested Boateng and Yomah at Esiana, for engaging in illegal mining and impounded the excavator they were using for the mining.
The court heard that the police proceeded to another mining site at Antoakrom and arrested Yanbao.
The prosecution said the police was making efforts to tow the excavator to the Regional headquarters. — GNA