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Illegal miners in court for prospecting for gold

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Michael Fosu, 24, Michael Dunyo, 25 and Kojo Goka, 29 on Thursday appeared before Takoradi Circuit “B” for illegal mining and illegal entry into forest reserve.

Goka was additionally charged with possessing mercury without license.

The accused persons pleaded guilty to the charges and were each granted bail in the sum of GHc2,000 with two sureties to re-appear on December 11, for sentencing.

Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Richard Bartey told the court presided over by Judge Charles Nimako that for sometime now, the Western Regional Forestry Commission had been detecting series of illegal mining activities in the Neung Forest Reserve.

He said officials of the commission, therefore, decided to monitor and patrol the reserve to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners.

DSP Bartey said on November 20 this year, officials of the commission who were on their usual patrol, met the accused persons in the forest reserve.

He said the accused persons had mounted a “Chanfang Machine” in the forest reserve and were prospecting for gold.

DSP Bartey said on seeing the forestry officials, the accused persons took to their heels but the officials pursued and arrested them.

He said when the accused persons were searched, a small bottle containing liquid suspected to be mercury was found in the pocket of Goka.

DSP Bartey said on November 29, the Police visited the scene and found trenches in the middle of the forest reserve and three Changfang machines mounted in the Bediabewu River.

He said the Police found that 115 Nyankom trees and one Bako tree valued 14,082 Ghana Cedis had been destroyed as a result of the illegal mining activities of the accused persons..

DSP Bartey said the accused persons admitted the offenses and pleaded for forgiveness and were charged after further investigations.

Source: GNA

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