The current media attention on rosewood being intercepted on the highways purported to be coming from the Sissala areas is causing discomfort among officials including the Sissala East Municipal Chie Executive (MCE).
“Anytime anybody is arrested, the person would say he is coming from Tumu, this does not augur well for all of us,”the Sissala East MCE, Mr Karim Nanyua, told a meeting on Wednesday.
He was addressing members of the Forestry Commission, justice and security sub-committee of the assembly as well as the Municipal Security Council “Apart from Helena Huang, there is another truckload impounded, suggested to be coming from Tumu yesterday [Tuesday] belonging to another Chinese man, Hu,” he said.
He has therefore asked the security personnel to arrest any person caught engaging in salvaging, conveyance and exporting or loading of rosewood as directed by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in a letter dated 13th March 2019. The letter signed by the sector minister and copied to the Ghana News Agency partly read: “You are hereby directed to stop the processing of any permit for salvage, conveyance and export of rosewood”. Mr Nanyua was worried that another tree species called ‘paw paw’ was also being harvested by the Chinese and their Ghanaian accomplices and directed the Forestry Commission to halt that immediately.
Suspected vehicles carrying rosewood around Santijan 60km from Tumu have had their batteries seized by the Forestry Commission officials as the drivers and owners fled after being pursued.
The police have also intensified their search to clamp down on illegal loggers lumbering in the area.
The MCE warned that “Any vehicle found with rosewood should be impounded and interrogated,” whiles there have repeated announcements of the ban in the local language.
A fact-finding committee has been formed and mandated to find out about rosewood harvest, which before the ban was widespread in almost every community where foreigners and their Ghanaian accomplices are stationed.