Forestry Commission Arrests 30 Galamseyers, 2 Excavators Burnt in Two Forest Reserves

Forestry Commission Arrests 30 Galamseyers, 2 Excavators Burnt in Two Forest Reserves

The Rapid Response Team (RRT) and staff of the Forest Services Division (FSD) in the Tarkwa District of the Western Region have arrested 19 illegal miners in the Bonsa River Forest Reserve (Aboso North Range) on Friday, June 28 2024.The team had earlier arrested 11 suspects in a similar operation in the same Reserve on June 12 2024.The illegal miners, who work with water-pumping machines, shovels, and other handheld tools, have mounted tents and operate in the reserve day and night, which was evidenced by packs of assorted food items, bags of sachet water, and other personal effects the team found at the site.The suspects have been handed over to the Tarkwa Police Command for further investigations and prosecution in courts of competent jurisdiction.In a similar operation carried out on June 12 2024, 11 suspects, made up of 10 males and 1 female, were arrested. They have been remanded to prison custody while their dockets have been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Department for advice on their prosecution.Currently, there are 21 pending illegal mining cases involving more than 111 suspects who were arrested by officials of the Forestry Commission in forest reserves in the Region.The cases are at various stages of prosecution at the Sekondi High Court 2 and Takoradi Circuit Court.There is a passionate appeal to the judiciary in the Region to expedite action on all forest offence cases and a stern warning to anyone with intentions of carrying out illegal mining in the Region’s forest reserves, to advise themselves because Forestry Commission officials will not rest on their oars until such persons are flushed from our the nation’s reserves and the culprits made to face the full rigours of the law.In a related development, two excavators and one motorbike were immobilised in the Apamprama Forest Reserve, near Kobro, on Friday, 28th June 2024, by the staff of FSD in the Bekwai District of the Ashanti Region and members of the RRT.The culprits bolted upon seeing the team so no arrests were made. Illegal operators in the Apamprama Forest Reserve have resorted to working at night to avert being arrested by officials of the Commission.This necessitated a change in the modus operandi of staff of the Commission which led to an increase in their night patrols, in addition to intelligence reports, which led to the immobilisation of the two excavators.Staff in the Bekwai Forest District are bent on using their available resources to fight the illegal mining menace to safeguard the forest and wildlife resources entrusted in the care of the Forestry Commission.Illegal operators are advised to stay away from the Apamprama Forest Reserve or other reserves in the Region.


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