Russian and Ukrainian nationals remanded over galamsey

Four other foreign nationals who were arrested at Manso-Tontokrom for their involvement in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region, have been put before an Accra Circuit Court.

The four who are of Russian and Ukrainian origins have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime to wit undertaking small scale mining without license and undertaking small scale mining without license.

They are Farid Isaev, Vadim Potokia, Saerhii Chepurniy all engineers and Genadiy Rubee, a Site Engineer.         

The court did not take their pleas and remanded them into custody to enable the court secure a Russian Interpreter as accused could not speak English.

They are to reappear on May 31 before the court presided over by Ms Ruby Naa Ayikai Aryeetey.

Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Cletus Abdamlora said the complainant is a Police officer attached to the Lands and Forestry Ministry whiles accused  were foreigners from Russia and Unkraine but residents in country precisely Tontokrom in the Ashanti Region.

DSP Abdamlora said the Ministry of Lands and Forestry recently gave an ultimatum to all small scale mining companies and illegal miners popularly known as “galamseyers” operating in the country to stop until their activities were regulated.

Prosecution said government thus banned any form of small scale mining until further notice.

On May 22, this year, the sector Minister Mr John Peter Amewu and a team including complainant went on a fact finding mission to ensure that the ban was being complied with at Manso Tontokrom.

On their arrival, DSP Abadamlora said they met the accused persons busily engaged in illegal mining.         

The accused persons were using heavy equipment which had destroyed vast land including cocoa farms of the inhabitants and polluted their source of water.

When the accused persons were questioned, they said they were employees of Geo Professional Services, a mining company.

Prosecution prayed the court for some time to conduct further investigations into the matter.

Source: GNA

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