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Crime & Punishment of Monday, 4 September 2017

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

32 'galamseyers' grabbed; 33 others convicted

Thirty-two persons, who are said to be engaging in illegal mining popularly known as galamsey, were arrested by Operation Vanguard in the Eastern Region last week, under the leadership of Captain Appiagyei Stephen.

The recent arrests follow the conviction of 33 other galamseyers in the region by two courts in Koforidua and Asamankese.

The 32 suspects are currently cooling off in the cells of the regional police headquarters in Koforidua pending prosecution in court.

The suspects are Godwin Fianu, 37; Yaw Forson, 41; Fuseini Sulley, 35; Ali Siedu, 50; Zandia Akolugo, 48; Akomea Boateng, 37; Emmanuel Owusu, 27; Tormenu Eric 27; Francis Portufe 19; Muniru Fuseini 19; Camping Mohamed, 29; Kwasi Ali, 35; Kofi Frimpong 46; Amartey Gideon, 22 and Haruna Iddrisu, 20.

Others are Charles Asumang, 41; Samuel Yeboah, 48; Kofi Adjei, 46; Desmond Nana Agyemang, 32; Kwadwo Nsiah, 47; Kofi Agyemang, 39; Kwabena Kwateng, 50; Ofori Kwame, 42; Lawrence Boateng, 28; Daniel Teye, 38 and Frank Mensah, 44.

The rest are Isaac Mensah, 28; Yaw Amoateng, 30; Kofi Osei, 39; Naba Tia, 27 and Aboagye Agyemang, 37.

The taskforce arrested the suspects in Okagya bush, near Kwabeng, with 20 pumping machines, 3 water hoses, 1 grease gun, 1 carpet and 2 head pans.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that the team also retrieved one locally manufactured rifle with three live cartridges from the site.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfuor, who doubles as Chairman of REGSEC, at a recent forum on the activities of Operation Vanguard, urged residents of the region to support the taskforce to eradicate the galamsey menace to save the environment.

In a related development, a Koforidua Circuit Court, presided over by Mercy Adei Kotei, has sentenced 26 foreigners and three Ghanaians, who invaded and mined in the Atiwa Forest Reserve in the Atiwa District of the Eastern Region on January 26 without licence, to pay a total fine of GH¢15,600,000.

The illegal miners were mostly Nigeriens while the others are from Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Togo.

The court found Abdulai Umaru, Zibo Alidu and Haruna Mumuni-who are Ghanaians – guilty of conspiracy to mine without licence in violation of Section 23(1) of Act 29/1960.

They were ordered to pay 2,500 penalty units, equivalent to GH¢30,000 each, or in default serve three years’ imprisonment term.

The 26 foreigners were found guilty of conspiracy to mine without licence and mining without licence in violation of Section 99(2) and 99(3) of the Minerals and Mining Act 2015. The Asamankese circuit court, presided over by Ayitey Armah Tetteh, sentenced four illegal miners to a total fine of GH¢57,600 or in default serve 96 months’ jail term.

The convicts are Sampson Kwabena Brobey, 29; Oscar Amoako, 22; Issac Yaw Twum, 43 and Solomon Aidoo, 31.

The court also ordered the fifth accused person, 16-year-old Albert Kwasi Appiah, to be tried at the Juvenile Court.