- President Akufo-Addo has assented to the new illegal mining law which pegs sentences for offenders between 15 to 25 years
- The new laws have also taken away the discretion of judges who gave offenders minor sentences
- He also noted that the law will henceforth serve a stiffer punishment to Ghanaians and foreigners who destroy the environment
President Akufo-Addo has warned that persons caught engaging in illegal mining activities will henceforth be given a minimum sentence of 15 years.
This follows the amendment of the mining law of Ghana, which also stipulates a maximum of 25 years for illegal miners.
The President said punishments have also been increased for foreigners who will be found working illegally in the mining industry.
The Ghanaian leader made this known when he met members of Council of State at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, August 20, 2019.
“We are talking about minimum sentences of 15 years, maximum 25) years.
“We have had to take away some of the discretion of the judges largely because with the greatest of respect, they are not cooperating on these matters.”
The President explained that it had become necessary to take the discretionary powers from judges because culprits were being unreasonably freed after being processed for court.
The President led a campaign to clamp down on illegal mining, locally known as galamsey, when he assumed office two and half years ago.
A joint police-military task force was subsequently set up to oversee the protection of the various rivers in the country.
The task force was also given the licence to arrest anyone caught engaging in illegal mining activities, locally referred to as galamsey.
Meanwhile, the amended mining law could see one pay 150,000 penalty units if found guilty of engaging in illegal mining activities.
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