- The government of Ghana has wage war against illegal mining in the country
- This has led to the arrest of a number of Chinese and foreign illegal miners
- The government has also banned any form of small-scale mining in the country until further notice
There was drama in the Koforidua circuit court B Thursday when the 29 foreigners standing trial for engaging in illegal mining told the court they were hunting for bush rat in the Atiwa forest reserve and not mining.
According to the accused persons they are hunters from Niger and not illegal miners like it’s being alleged.
They disputed the charge the prosecutor made against them, that is conspiracy to commit crime with mining, mining without license and mining in a forest reserve.
Also, some of the accused persons told the court they were arrested while walking along the boundaries of the forest without engaging in any activity.
But the prosecutor told the court the statements of the accused contradicted their statement given to the police, as well as evidence captured during their arrest in the forest, hence the accused persons’ narrations in court are afterthoughts therefore not being credible.
The presiding judge, Mercy Adei Kotei adjourned the case to May 24, 2017.
The 29 accused persons were arrested on January 26, 2017 by a task force prospecting and using sophisticated machines to excavate the soil for gold and other minerals in the forest reserve without license.
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