The Tarkwa circuit court has sentenced five persons to a total of 100 years imprisonment in hard labour for mining without authority.
They are Sampson Mefe, Eric Bentua, Francis Nkubi, Timothy Kumordja and Evans Larbi, all being illegal miners.
Although the five pleaded not guilty to the offence, they were found guilty after trial, and each was convicted to 20 years imprisonment in hard labour.
Prosecuting, Mr Kingsley Agyekum, Assistant State Attorney, told the court, presided over by Mrs Hathia Ama Manu, that the complainant was Nana Yaw Baako, the Assemblymember of Himan Electoral Area.
He said the accused persons lived at Ankobra, a community within the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality.
On August 17, 2021, at about 1500 hours, the complainant, together with five opinion leaders, had information that the accused persons were prospecting for gold nuggets in the Ankobra River.
He said after receiving the tip-off, they went to Kpoviadzi, a village in Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality, and found the accused persons mining in the river with a dredging machine.
They were immediately arrested and handed over to the police to assist in investigations, while the dredge machine was set on fire, prosecution said.