The Tepa Circuit Court presided over by Mr Michael Johnson Abbey, has imposed a fine totalling GHC12,000.00 on four persons, who entered the Desire Forest Reserve in the Mankranso Forest District of Ashanti and mined for gold illegally.Agyeman Duah 40, a mechanic, Simon Amponsah 31, a driver, Michael Nkuah 34 and Akwasi Agyare 40, both farmers, pleaded guilty and the Court ordered each of them to pay GHC 3,000.00 or in default, serve two years in prison.
Prosecuting, Police Inspector Jonas Newlove Agyei told the court, that Mr Ransford Nkrumah, the complainant was the Supervisor of the Mankranso Forest District, while the convicts were residents of Kumasi.
He said on May 13 this year, the complainant together with the District Forest Rapid Response Team, were on their usual patrols of the Desire Forest Reserve, near Nimasua No. 2, in the Ahafo-Ano North Municipality when the team came across the convicts digging a deep pit and prospecting for gold in the forest reserve.
The prosecution said the team arrested and handed them over to the Manfo Police and in their cautioned statement they admitted undertaking illegal mining activities in the reserve.