Bekwai branch of Forestry commission of Ghana on last Friday has caused the arrest of three suspected illegal miners operating at Jakobu-Abrokyire in the Amansie Central District of Ashanti region.
‘They were many but we got only three who are in the Ashanti Bekwai police custody because we don’t know how to swim to arrest all’’,said,Mr.George Agbenowoshi,the district forest manager.
Speaking to the New Crusading guide after the arrest, Mr.George Abgenowoshi revealed that, they have a tip off that some people were illegally mining in one of the forest reserves near the Oda River and on many attempts to cause their arrest proved futile until this final one.
He explained that, the suspects who are in the police custody now have caused a lot of forest destruction by illegally cutting down trees, destroyed the river banks which has bring siltation of sand into the river beds, polluted the water body and others.
Mr.Abgenowoshi told this paper, the activities of the illegal miners has affected the life of the Oda forest reserved at Abrokyire in the Amansie West district assembly. What is most annoying is that the villagers are suffering from getting access to clean water as a result of the illegal mining activities by those suspects who are in police custody?
In spite of all effort by government of waging war on illegal mining, some people are still on site polluting the water bodies and farm lands which also includes forest reserves, According to him.
He explained that the three who have been arrested have defied government directives to put an end to the operation of mining activities which are unlawful and that the law will deal with them.
On why the commission didn’t involve any institution like the police, military, the district assembly and others but used the forestry commission rapid response team to effect the operation which led to the arrest of the three Ghanaian illegal miners,Mr. George Agbenowoshi told this reporter that he was having his own personal reason as the leader of the forestry commission at Bekwai not to involve any institution because sometimes the suspects may have firsthand information for alertness and move from site.
‘’We went and laid armed bush for a whole night to ensure we arrest those miners who are still on site operating in spite of government decision to halt illegal mining in the country’ ’He noted.
Though he said, the operation was silence but the forestry commission was very successful in arresting the suspect through the help of the assemblyman and one opinion leader from the town called Abrokyire where the activities were going on.
The suspect will be sent to court today for prosecution at the Bekwai circuit court so stay tune for an updates!!!
Story by Martin Osei Tutu.