Nine alleged Chinese 'galamsey' operators granted bail
7/31/2012 2:31:38 PM -
Accra July 30, GNA - Defence counsel for the nine alleged Chinese 'galamsey' operators who were hauled to an Accra Circuit Court says her clients had permit to commence mining operations.
According to Mrs. Charity Asem, defence counsel, told the court that the accused persons had secured permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to commence business.
Mrs. Asem said this when she put in a bail application for her clients, who had been hauled to court for undertaking mining activities without permit at Manso Nsiana, in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
The court, presided over by Mrs. Ivy Heward-Mills admitted the accused persons to bail in the sum of GH 10,000 cedis each.
The accused persons were to submit their passports with the police and reappear before the court on August 20.
They are Liang Zhi Yong, Zhang zhen Ying, Wang Shao Kung, Wu Dao Wei and Yuan Yu Bei.
The rest are Zgang Shui Wen, Fu Gao Yang, Wu Ping An and Wang Xiang Jin.
Arguing further for bail, Mrs. Asem told the court it was untrue that her clients were occupying the land illegally, adding that, her clients were led by the local people to the said area.
According to her, it was the setting up of the equipment to begin operations that generated into a clash ,adding that,"it was when the accused persons were pushed into their tents that they reacted."
She said it was not their intention to put anybody's life in danger, saying "it was one who felt aggrieved that formatted trouble."
Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham Annor told the court that the accused persons are workers of Zinjan Mining Company Limited located at Manso Nsiana, in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
He said during the month of June this year, the company led by one Prince Appiah, met Wirempehene, Nana Opiah Mensah II at Manso Mem and proposed to undertake mining activities at Manso Nsiana.
During their meeting, the company was advised to obtain the necessary documentation from the Mineral Commission, Forestry Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before commencing operations.
On June 12, this year, the company without obtaining the necessary documentations moved their equipment and vehicle to Manso Nsiana and commenced their operations.
Their activities, DSP Annor said caused destruction to the town's farms and water bodies.
He said on July 19th this year, the people of Manso Nsiana, protested against the company's operation and this led to a clash between the residents of the town and the company.
Prosecution said the accused persons pulled out three licensed pump action shot guns and fired in the air to scare the people.
The DSP said the Police detachment from Buffalo Unit, Kumasi and Manso-Nkwanta, swiftly intervened and brought the situation under control.
The prosecutor said the accused persons were arrested and the three guns were retrieved and that investigations are underway to establish whether or not the accused persons have resident and work permits.