Forest Commission impounds excavator and pumping machine

Staff of the Eastern Regional Secretariat of the Forestry Commission and a military task force on Monday impounded an excavator and a pumping machine that had been moved into the Atiwa Forest Reserve for illegal mining.

Osman Alhassan, the operator of the excavator, was arrested with the machine and he is helping the Koforidua police with their investigations.

This was disclosed by the Eastern Regional Forest Manager of the Forestry Commission, Mr Attah Owusu, at a press briefing in Koforidua.

He said following upon a tip-off, a team of military and forestry officials ambushed the illegal miners around 0100 hours at Kobreso a village near Asamankese in the Atiwa Forest Reserve.

He said in recent times, illegal mining had become the singular most destructive agent of forest reserves in the region.

Mr Owusu said about six hectares of the Atiwa Forest Reserve has been destroyed by the activities of illegal gold miners.

He said about two months ago, six out of 15 illegal miners arrested in the Kweikaru Forest Reserve in the Kade Forestry District have been sentenced to one year imprisonment each while the police continue with investigations into the case of the remaining nine.

Source: GNA

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