Five Burkinabes Sentenced To 20-Year Prison Terms Each Over Galamsey

Five Burkinabes Sentenced To 20-Year Prison Terms Each Over Galamsey

  • The Wa Circuit Court has sentenced five Burkinabes to a 20-year prison term for engaging in illegal mining activities
  • The five were caught right in the act by policemen on patrol in the area on March 23, and pleaded guilty before the court
  • According to the Principal State Prosecutor, the five had pleaded for leniency, hence the 20-year sentence, which is the minimum punishment for foreigners caught in the act

Five Burkinabes have each been sentenced to a 20-year prison term for engaging in illegal mining in Ghana.

The Wa Circuit Court found the five men guilty of violating section 23(1) of the Criminal Offences Act and Section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Act as amended.

Five Burkinabes Sentenced To 20-Year Prison Terms Each Over Galamsey
The Burkinabes were caught red handed by policemen on patrol.
Source: Getty Images

The quintet were arrested on March 23, for mining at an illegal mining site in Maase in the Wa West district after police officers on patrol received intelligence about their activities in the area.

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The five had tried escaping upon spotting the police but were caught.

The police discovered three water-pumping machines and other mining implements at the site.

The accused later admitted at the police station that they were mining in Ghana without a license.

They said they had been mining in Burkina Faso when, due to a drought, they decided to cross the Black Volta into Ghana.

The five were convicted on two counts: conspiracy to commit a crime and mining without a license as a foreigner.

Saeed Abdul Shakur, the principal state attorney, told Citi News that the conviction sent a clear message to foreign illegal miners that the most lenient punishment for engaging in such activities was a steep 20-year sentence.

He said because the convicts had pleaded guilty and begged the court for leniency, that is why they were given a 20-year sentence as the minimum punishment under the law.

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He warned foreigners to steer clear of illegal mining in Ghana.

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Meanwhile, Ghana’s cocoa beans face a potential embargo from the international market due to the increasing risk of contamination from illegal mining activities.

This is according to Henry Kokofu, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

He was speaking at a public lecture at the Kumasi Technical University, where he highlighted the grave economic and social impact of illegal mining, locally known as Galamsey, on Ghana if nothing is done about it as soon as possible.

He said the repercussions could see the country’s economy experience another major financial crisis, leading to loss of livelihoods and increased agitations.

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In a separate story, reported that a Chinese prison inmate has escaped while receiving medical care at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

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The inmate from the Nsawam Maximum Security Prison was serving a one-year jail term for stealing.

He was initially arrested at Tema and jailed before being transferred to the Nsawam Maximum Security Prison.


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