The Asamankese Circuit Court presided over by His Honour Ayitey Armah Tetteh has convicted four illegal miners to a total fine of Ghs57,600 or in default serve 96 months jail term.
The convicts are;Sampson Kwabena Brobey-29 years,Oscar Amoako-22 years,Issac Yaw Twum-43 years and Solomon Aidoo-31 years.
The court also ordered the fifth accused person, a 16 year old illegal miner,Albert Kwasi Appiah to be taken to Juvenile Court for Prosecution .
The minor was part of the five illegal miners arrested in Kwaebibirm stretch of the Atewa Forest . They were charged for causing damage to forest reserve contrary to Section(1a) of the forest protection Act 624/2002 and mining without license.
His Honour Ayitey Armah Tetteh sentenced each of the convicts to a fine of Ghs14,400 or serve 24 months imprisonment each.
The Prosecutor ,ASP Joe Mike Adams explained to the court that ,the complainant in this case is the Deputy District Manager of the Forestry Commission in Kwaebibirim-kade and the accused persons are residents in Osenase and Kubreso.
He said on 22nd August 2017, the accused persons illegally entered pillar 37 and 38 stretch of the Atewa Forest Reserve to illegally mine gold.
He said the Forestry Commission as part of their routine petrol spotted the accused persons who were busily clearing trees in the forest while digging for gold .Also ,the convicts had diverted a water falls in the forest to wash their gold . The forest guards arrested the convicts and retrieved their mining equipment as exhibit .
According to the Prosecutor ,the Forestry Commission however handed over the illegal miners(convicts) to the police and upon interrogation admitted mining in the forest without license and revealed that they were hungry, hence the illegal mining for survival.