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19.02.2009 Crime & Punishment

Akyem Oda Magistrate Court convicts illegal chainsaw operator


- Yaw Edward, a 26 year-old farmer, was on Thursday convicted on his own plea of guilt to six months imprisonment in hard labour by the Akyem Oda District Magistrate court, for felling a tree illegally in a forest reserve.

Police Chief Inspector, Ben Osei – Kwadwo, prosecuting, told the court presided over by Mr Albert Owusu Annor that on February 4, at about 0100 hours, forest guards on their routine patrols spotted Edward and two others now on the run, sawing a felled Wawa tree into lumber at the Esuboni Forest Reserve.

He said a search at the area revealed that four other trees had been sawed into lumber, but Edward denied responsibility for that action.

The court issued an order for the chainsaw machine to be confiscated.

Meanwhile, Mr Wilson Asare, Akyem Oda District Forestry Officer, hailed the decision of the court, saying it would serve as a deterrent to other illegal chainsaw operators.

He said illegal chainsaw operations were normally carried out in the night with the perpetrators armed to the teeth, while forest guards did not possess arms to confront them.

He, therefore, appealed to the security agencies, especially the military to assist them in their night operations.