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06.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court jails five for operating Galamsey in forest reserve

GNA

Tarkwa (W/R), July 6, GNA Five people were today jailed 15 months each for operating illegal mining in Bonsa Forest Reserve by a Tarkwa Circuit court, presided over by Mr. John Aject Nasam. They were Kofi Mensah 26, a native of Awudua, Kwame Atta 47, a native of Twifo Praso, Kojo Mensah, 32, of Akyem Mpohor and Kwabena Kone, 19 and Kojo Obeng 20, both from Esuaso-Wassa. They were sentenced on their own plea.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Joseph Yaw Apkaloo of Tarkwa Police said information reaching Tarkwa Forest District Office of Forestry Services Division (FSD) indicated that there was illegal mining activity being carried out in Bonsa Forest.

He said on June 30, 2005, Mr. Yakubu Mohammed Tarkwa Forest District Officer detailed Mr. Bright Owusu Sekyere, a range supervisor to the forest reserve to monitor illegal mining, popularly known as 'galamsey'.

On his arrival at the forest, Chief Inspector Apkaloo said, Mr. Owusu Sekyere, in company of Policemen met a group of galamsey operators busily mining for gold. The five were arrested and the rest ran away. Passing sentence, Mr. Nasam said the rampant destruction of the forest leads to desertification and illegal mining, especially, pollute water bodies because of application of mercury in the process of gold recovery adding, "we are all at risk."

"I am not going to deal leniently with those destroying forest or those who defile children". he added.

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