The Nkawie Circuit Court has sentenced two illegal miners caught prospecting for gold in the Desiri Forest Reserve to three years imprisonment each.
The court also confiscated four motorbikes used by 42-year-old Kwabena Yeboah and his 41-year-old accomplice, Akwasi Yeboah in the illegal activity.
The duo were arrested by a combined team of officers from the Tepa Divisional Police Command and the Forestry Commission on August 9, 2019, whilst operating in the forest which is under the Mankraso District Forestry office.
The team, led by the Tepa Police Divisional Commander, ACP Samuel Winful and Ashanti Regional Manager of Forestry Commission, William Baah also seized some equipment used for the illegal operations.
The convicts were among a group of illegal miners who had invaded the 150.95-kilometre reserve and were busily mining gold in that restricted area.
Though many of the illegal miners who invaded the forest took to their heels upon seeing the security team and escaped, luck, however, eluded Kwabena and Akwasi who were inside the deep pits they had created.
The Nkawie Circuit Court presided by His Lordship Johnson Michael Abbey on August 29, 2019, found the two guilty for illegal mining gold in the reserve and sentenced them to three years in imprisonment.
Mankraso District Forestry Manager, Godwin Agyemang who is happy about the conviction of the two says it will deter many people from embarking on illegal mining operations in forest reserves.
” In fact, the Forestry Commission is happy about the court verdict and we hope this will serve as a deterrent to others not to engage in galamsey in forest reserves and other forest areas within the Mankraso Forest District and across the country,” he said.
Mr. Agyemang is entreating all stakeholders including District Chief Executives, chiefs and of various assemblies heads to do more to assist forestry officials in their quest to prevent illegal mining in forest reserves.