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3 Arrested for mining illegally in forest reserve

Source Graphic Online

Three persons are in the grip of the Forestry Commission’s Rapid Response team in the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai Municipality for mining illegally in a forest reserve in the Western North Region.

The suspects are Adamu Musa, 25, Ibrahim Musa, 21, and Amidu Seidu, 36, all unemployed. The commission paraded them before the media in Bibiani in the Western North Region last Thursday.

They are expected to be arraigned on Monday.

The suspects could be the first to experience the full rigour of the amended Mining Law approved by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo last Tuesday.

Per the law, the culprits face up to 25 years imprisonment if found guilty.

Suspects

Two of the suspects who are said to have destroyed a three-hectare land in the reserve are from Lamshegu and Nepala, both in the Northern Region, while the third is from Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

Briefing

Briefing the media, the District Manager of the Forest Services Division in the Bibiani Anwiaso Bekwai Municipality, Mr Eric Asare, said three excavators and other equipment were seized during the operation which was conducted at midnight.

He said the destruction caused by the suspects was shocking, and that it would take some time to restore the vegetation.

The suspects were alleged to have cut down a number of trees and dug huge trenches to prospect for gold.

“We are determined to flush out all illegal miners in the district. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we will catch up with them,” Mr Asare said.

Assurance

Mr Asare said the municipal assembly had adopted new strategies to deal ruthlessly with miscreants in the coming days.

The Bibiani District Police Commander, Superintendent Christopher Owusu Mpianin, told the Daily Graphic that the police would provide the commission with the necessary support to help stamp out the menace of illegal mining in the area.

“The police will dig and get to the bottom of the issue and arrest all those who are behind the act,” he said.

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