Some three illegal gold miners popularly known as galamseyers, have been sentenced to 45 years in imprisonment.
A Judge presiding over a Circuit Court in Ghana’s Western City of Takoradi, Abigail Animah Asare, handed down the verdict on Wednesday, June 8, 2021, as the nation steps up efforts to crackdown on illegal mining activities.
The three convicts are Joseph Donkor, 40 years; Joseph Paul, 27 and Charles Ewusi also 27 years.
They were in addition to the prison sentence, fined an amount of GHc720, 000.00. In default, they are to serve extra two weeks in jail.
About the case
The three were arrested at Cape Three Points in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region in February 2021.
All three convicts pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit crime, to wit, undertaking small scale mining operation without license.
The court sentenced them based on their own guilty plea
The prosecutor, Sergeant Robert Amonoo Yawson, told the court that the complainant in the case is a Forester with the Forest Service Division, Takoradi District in charge of supervision at Cape Three Points forest reserve but lives at Boyekrom in the area.
According to him, the first accused person is a farmer while the other two are all unemployed. He said they all live at Alabankata near Cape Three Points.
The prosecutor added that on February 16, 2021, the complainant joined the National Rapid Response team, made up of Forest guards and patrolled the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve.
He noted that on the same day at about 2pm, the team met the accused persons and many others who were actively engaged in digging and washing of sand as part of illegal mining.
According to him, the team succeeded in arresting the accused persons, adding that the scene of crime and the accused persons were photographed for evidential purposes.
The prosecutor claimed that the accused persons were subsequently handed over to the Regional office of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service in Sekondi for investigations.
He added that Lthe accused persons admitted the offence in their various caution statements as specified in the charge sheet.
According to him, investigations revealed that the accused persons were mining without license and after investigations, the three were charged and arraigned before the court.
The judge, in her ruling, stated among other things that the sentence was the minimum one because the accused persons did not make the work of the court difficult.
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