Spectators and some staff of the Koforidua Circuit Court “B” were thrown into a state of shock as nine Chinese nationals who were arrested with two Ghanaians at the Birim North District and brought before the court smoked at the full glare of the observers and staffs on the Court premises after they were granted a bill of GHC100,000 each with one sureties.
While a woman, suspected to also be a Chinese who followed them to the court was spotted making number of calls believed to be seeking for the sureties and the money to grant the illegal miners bail, they seem not to be perturbed about the court request as they walked out from the court room without any police escort and lite up their cigarettes to enjoy
The observers who were surprised with what they saw as the scent of the smoke engulfed the entire court compound kept wondering why the authorities could not stop them since it violates the section 58 of the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851.
The Act stated that 'A person shall not smoke tobacco or a tobacco product or hold a lighted tobacco product in an enclosed or indoor area of a work place, or any other public place except in a designated area', as stated by the section 58 of the Public Health Act,2012, Act 851.
It also mentioned the public place to include but not limited to the following places; all workplaces like the factories, and offices, restaurants, pubs, places where children are cared for, health and educational institutions, cinemas, shopping malls, markets, recreational areas, stadia, public transport vehicles, transport terminals and places of collective use.
The eleven “galamseyers” were arrested in a joint swoop by the anti-galamsey taskforce and the Forestry Commission in the New Abirem District of the Eastern Region on Monday September 4, 2017 and have been handed to the eastern Regional Police Command.
The suspected illegal miners were Johnsun Zhang 29, Weng Zheng hon 55, Weng Zhi Dong 47, Tony Tony Yin 47, Cheng Sheng Xhi 61, Zao Wen Lu 43, Lui Zhang Hai 49, Wang Zhi Gong 47 and Shi Zhi Hai 49.
The rest who are also Ghanaians are Akare Thompson 39 and Maxwell Anin 34 years.
They were charged with the offence to commit a crime, mining without license and possession of firearm in the court presided over by Ms. Mercy Kotei.
Prosecuting, the deputy eastern Regional State Attorney, Cyril Boateng Keteku said the suspects were arrested by the joint task force for mining illegally at Nyafoman, Nwiiso, Amenam, Oseikrom and portion of the Kweikaru forest reserve in the New Abirem District.
He said some amount of money, GHS66,000, $340, 100 Euro, and 2,567 Yen were retrieved from the suspects upon their arrest.
He added that, the team also confiscated Mitsubishi Pajero, a Nissan Hard body pick up, one stung gun, 104 cartridge of AA ammunition, two boxes of dynamite, one jime himderson pistol, one blasting machine a pump action gun and one automatic rifle.