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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 4 November 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Farmer jailed 10 years for cultivating Indian hemp

The Juaso Circuit Court in the Asante Akim South District in the Ashanti Region has sentenced a farmer to a 10-year jail term.

The court, presided over by Mr Frederick Tetteh, jailed Yaw Asante for cultivating Indian hemp in a forest reserve, causing unlawful damage to the forest and illegal farming in the reserve.

Detective Sergeant Princeton Peasah Darkwa, prosecuting, told the court that a ranger of the Formangsu Forest Reserve in the Juaso Forest District, Mr Thomas Normah, had information that someone had encroached on the reserve so he traced the location of the illegal occupant of the forest.

He said the ranger, upon reaching the illegal settlement, spotted Asante who had planted cocoa and plantain covering a total area of 3.5 hectares.

The ranger then reported the incident to the Juaso Police who then followed up to arrest Asante and a search on the farm discovered the cultivation of substances suspected to be Indian hemp in addition to the food and cash crops.

A nursery of the Indian hemp in the farm which were ready to be transplanted was also discovered and when asked, Asante said he had no idea that it was Indian hemp.

The farm alone covered an area of about one hectare, according to the prosecutor.

He said Asante was arrested and samples of the narcotics taken to Accra for forensic test which proved to be Indian hemp.