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22.10.2008 Crime & Punishment

Timber contractor fined GH¢1000 for illegal felling of trees

By gna

The Akyem Swedru Circuit Court, last Friday convicted Joey Akoto, a timber contractor, to a fine of GH¢1,000 for illegal felling of trees in the Akyem Oda Forest Reserve.

Akoto would go to jail for six months in default of payment of the fine.

The prosecution had earlier told the court presided over by Mr Edward Kwame Bosompem Apenkwah that on January 3, 2008, a team of forest guards on routine patrol in the reserve arrested the convict, who was seen felling trees in the area. to the Akyem Aperade Police station.

He said the following day, an assistant Akyem Oda District Forest Manager and a team of forest guards together with the police were dispatched to ascertain the extent of damage caused by the contractor in the forest reserve.

The prosecution said a total of six trees valued at GH¢630.36 were found to have been felled by Akoto.

After a caution statement, Akoto was arraigned before the court where after several sittings the case was finally disposed off.

The court had in an earlier sitting ordered that the trees should be sold and the proceeds paid into government chest.

Meanwhile, Mr Wilson Owusu-Asare, Akyem Oda District Forest Manager, expressed worry about long delays in disposing of such cases and appealed to the courts to expedite action on them.

He said frequent adjournment of those cases caused a lot of inconvenience to staff and their work.