Six illegal gold miners who went to mine in the Kweikaru Forest Reserve in the Birim North District had been sentenced to one year imprisonment each in hard labour by a District Magistrate Court at Nkawkaw.
The accused persons were Kwame Adu, Benjamin Oduro, Prince Amakye, Isaac Quansah, Kwame Isaac and Kwadwo Fokuo Stephen.
Each of the accused persons was found guilty of illegally entering a forest reserve and collecting forest reserve produce without authorization.
The court Presided over by Mr Yusif Assibey issued a bench warrant for the arrest of eight other suspects who are on bail for the same offence and were not in court.
The court was told that between April 1 and 4 the Eastern Regional Monitoring Team of the Forestry Commission went on an operation to clear illegal gold miners who had invaded the Kweikaru Forest Reserve and to destroy illegal farms in the Kajease Forest Reserve in the Kwaebibirim District.
During the exercise, 14 suspects who had destroyed large portions of the Kweikaru Forest Reserve and were mining in the reserve were arrested while one illegal farmer farming in the Kajease Reserve was also arrested and all of them were handed over to the police at New Abirem.