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Crime & Punishment of Sunday, 25 February 2018


Four illegal miners convicted in Enchi

The Enchi District Magistrate court has convicted four persons on conspiracy to commit crime, breach of forest protection and mining for gold without license.

The four, who were convicted on their own plea include two Ghanaians, Ayita Bashiru and Yahaya Ibrahim and two citizens of Guinea, Sokotori Senior and Sokotori Junior.

Bashiru and Ibrahim were sentenced to a fine of 960 Ghana cedis each, for conspiracy and sentenced to 7 months in prison each for breach of forest protection and mining for gold without license.

Sokotori Senior was slapped with a 19 months jail term and would also be deported back to his country after serving his sentence.

The trial judge, Mr Solomon Kwasi Alomatu, fined Sokotori Junior, the only juvenile among the convicts 960 Ghana cedis fine.

He has since been handed over to his uncle at Bawku, in the Upper East Region, and the court has ordered the uncle to send the young offender to his father in Guinea to enable him continue with his education.

The Enchi District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police Raymond Kofi Erzuah, made this known to the Ghana News Agency in Enchi.

He said the complainant, Felix Amoah, is a Range Supervisor of the Forestry Commission stationed at Enchi, in the Aowin District, whilst the convicts lived at Wassa Dunkwa in Asankragwa.

He said on 28th January, 2018, at about 0200 hours am, the district forest monitoring team led by the complainant embarked on night patrols at Pantonso a section of Tano and Nwia forest reserve.

According to the District Police Commander, whilst the officers were on their normal patrol duty at Pantonso Awiabo road, they had information that some illegal miners were operating in the forest reserve.

He said based on that intelligence the team moved to the scene and met the four and other people now at large destroying the land and vegetation in search for gold and other minerals.

He said the illegal miners on seeing the complainant and his men fled into the forest, but they managed to arrest the four convicts and escorted them to the Enchi police station where an official complaint was lodged.

He warned illegal miners to stop their operations because the law would not spare them when they are caught.