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Forestry Commission arrests 10 illegal miners

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Illegal Miners

The Bekwai Forest District of the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission has arrested 10 illegal miners – seven Ghanaians and three Chinese.

They were allegedly operating in seven compartments in the Oda River Forest Reserve.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said they were arrested during a three day exercise by the District to clamp down on illegal mining in the forest.

It said the operation was carried out by staff of the Bekwai Forest District and the Rapid Response Teams drawn from four other forest districts.

During the operation, the statement said, two Toyota Hilux pickups with registration numbers 1265 A and GT 7366-12 and other items being used by the illegal miners were seized.

“In addition, ten excavators, 19 fuel tanks, nine power plants, two chanfang machines, four motorbikes, five water pumping machines, and wooden structures were demobilised,” the statement said.

The suspects include Michael Korsah, Basit Shizu, Amadu Musah, Prince Boakye, Amedodzi Kofi, Akwasi Adu, and Shi Tiacha.

Seven out the of the 10 suspects; Michael Korsah, Basit Shizu, Amadu Musah, Prince Boakye, Amedodzi Kofi, Akwasi Adu and Shi Tiachao who were arrested on Wednesday, 6th December, 2023 were arraigned before the Bekwai Circuit court the following day.

The statement said Bernard Sarkodie, Li Tauhai and Rao Shifa who were arrested on Thursday 7th December 2023, appeared before the Court on 8th December,2023.

It said all 10 suspects had been remanded into police custody for one week.

Mr. Hugh Brown, the Executive Director of the Forest Services Division, said the war against illegal mining required collaborative and sustained efforts from all stakeholders, stressing: “This war must be won.”

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