Forestry Commission, military arrest illegal chainsaw operators

Fri, 3 Dec 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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Correspondence from Eastern Region:

Eleven suspected illegal chainsaw operators have been picked up by the Akyem Oda Municipal Forestry Commission in a special operation that involved the military.

They were arrested at the boundary between Akyem Oda and Asin Fosu forests and handed over to the Akyem Oda Divisional Police for further investigations and prosecution.

Akyem Oda Municipal Forestry manager Mr. Ernest Adofo, in an interview with GhanaWeb named the suspects as Yaw Toku (60yrs), Kwaku Fosu (21), Kofi Yeboah (36), Ibrahim Alex Adamu, Kofi Baffour (45), Yaw Nyame, Kwadwo Duah (44), Thomas Kwasi Mawuli (46), Kofi Sarfo (43), Kwaku Annan (25) and Kofi Ankoneh (40).

Some items were also seized by the forestry and military personnel during the operation. These included four chainsaw machines, one monkey jack, three tools bags, three cutlasses, and two gallons of fuel.

Briefing GhanaWeb on the circumstances that led to the arrests, Mr. Ernest Adofo revealed that they got notified by some concerned citizens about the illegal dealings of the individuals in the forest.

Based on this information, a team from the forestry commission aided by the military quickly mobilized and went into the forest at 3am where they arrested the eleven suspects engaged in the illegality.

“We had information yesterday that some persons from Breman-Asikuma had encroached one of our forests that share boundaries with Assin-Fosu and so at 3am, we organized ourselves and went there and caught them in the act,” said Adofo who added that the suspects were subsequently handed over to the Oda Divisional Police Command.

Mr. Adofo also expressed concern over the devastating effects of climate change on the country occasioned by the activities of illegal chainsaw operators.

He said, “The forests belong to the government of Ghana and protects humanity so it behooves on us all to take up the responsibility of protecting the forests because the survival of humanity depends on the trees.”

The forestry commission manager further added that although the commission occasionally arrests illegal chainsaw operators, this was the largest group to be arrested at the time.

Mr. Adofo added that the team would in due course access the mode of entry into the forest by the suspects and also access the extent of damage to the forest reserve.

He warned illegal chainsaw operators to desist from their illegal activities and further appealed to the public to help in monitoring the forests since humanity depended on it for survival.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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