Court fines illegal miner GH¢120,000.00 plus 15 years imprisonment
A Circuit Court at Dormaa-Ahenkro, Dormaa Central Municipality of Bono Region has sentenced Alexander Addo, aged 24, unemployed to a fine of GH¢120,000.00 plus 15 years imprisonment for engaging in illegal mining.
Addo pleaded guilty to the charge, and the Court presided by Mr Samuel Djanie Kotey convicted and sentenced him on his own plea.
The Court, therefore, gave him a fine of 10,000 penalty units which is equivalent to GH¢120,000.00 as a penalty unit is GH¢12.00.
But, according to the Court, if Addo fails to pay the fine, he would serve an additional five-year jail term in hard labour, bringing the total sentence to 20 years imprisonment.
Police Inspector Emmanuel Asare told the Court that the complainant, a farmer and the convict were residents at different suburbs at Wamfie, district capital of Dormaa East and Bono Region.
P/Inspt. Asare said complainant owned a farmland located at ‘Wammu’ near Wamfie where part of that land had been cultivated with plantain and vegetables.
He said for more than a year now, the convict and other ‘galamseyers’ (illegal miners) took possession of the land and damaged it with their activities.
But, P/Inspt. Asare added all efforts made by the Police and the complainant to arrest them failed, until about four months ago when complainant with the assistance of some young men arrested convict while he was actively engaging in illegal mining on the farmland.
The prosecutor said while escorting convict to the Police station, he escaped, adding that at about 1700 hours on Sunday, December 12, 2022 complainant visited her farm and met the accused and one other accomplice mining illegally.
He said complainant hid herself and invited her son, a witness in the case to the scene and therefore planned how to arrest them, but left the scene for their house.
P/Inspt. Asare said at about 1900 hours that day complainant and her son went back to the farm and met the accused and his accomplice washing and sieving soil by the bank of the Wam River with the intention to get gold.
The prosecutor said convict and his accomplice fled when they saw complainant and her son, but, he added complainant and her son managed to arrest him (convict) to give him to the Police together with a washing carpet and a plastic container which were retrieved from the scene for investigation.
P/Inspt. Asare said at about 0700 hours on Monday, December 19, 2022 complainant returned to the scene and found a pickaxe, a shovel and a cutlass believed to be other implements used by the convict and his accomplice, adding that during investigations, convict admitted the offence in his investigation caution statement to Police and mentioned one Effah of Wamfie as his accomplice.
He added that the Police went to Effah’s house but was told he had travelled out of town and after investigations, convict was charged with the offence.