Four Nigeriens who were arrested in the Atiwa Forest Reserve for illegal mining have been sentenced a jail term of 10 years each by the Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’.
The Court Presided over by Her Honour Mercy Addai Kotei additionally slapped a fine of GHS120,000 each totaling GHS480,000 against the Convicts.
The convicts, Ibrahim Dramani , 33, Osman Mumuni, 25, Adams Ali,20 and Amidu Aboubacar ,30 were convicted on Thursday June 14,2018, on their own plea of guilty to the offences of conspiracy to commit crime, to wit, mining without license, hence, sentenced them to 10 years per each count to run concurrently.
The convicted Nigeriens were arrested by the Forestry Services of the Forestry Commission in the Eastern Region for attempt to illegally mine gold in the Atiwa Forest Reserve.
According to the Begoro District Manager of Forestry, Kwame Oteng Awuah, the convicts sneaked into the forest reserve to prospect for gold but were arrested early morning of Thursday June 7, 2018, upon tip off by the Rapid Response Team of the Forestry Commission.
“We had information that some illegal miners have sneaked into Kibi portion of the Atewa Forest reserve mining. Upon receipt of this information we organized the range,that is the range manager and rapid response team at kibi went to the place at night to lay ambush. At dawn, they heard people talking in the forest so they were monitored closely and after few hours later they saw the miners using their gold detection machines to search for gold by taken off the top soil but we managed to arrest four."
In August 30, 2017,the Koforidua Circuit Court 'B' convicted 29 foreign illegal miners, 25 of whom were Nigeriens to a total fine of GHS15, 690,000 in default.