Two Nigerians were given 20 years in prison by Tarkwa Circuit Court Judge Hathia Ama Manu for engaging in illegal mining, also known as “galamsey.”
The terms will apply simultaneously.
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Ayodele Jackson and Benjamin Obin were taken into custody in the Western Region at Bepoase, close to Prestea.
They were sentenced on October 7, admitted guilt to the charges, and stated that they had only turned to the “galamsey” work because they were hungry and without a job.
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They claimed to have only been engaging in the behaviour for about three weeks prior to being arrested when testifying in court. Thus, they were found guilty based on their own admission.
Two Minerals Commission officers filed a complaint against the accused, according to the prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Juliana Dadzie, who presented the case’s facts to the court.
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She claims that two employees of the Minerals Commission, named Emmanuel Morrison and Bismark Mansoh, saw the accused and about 15 other people engaged in illegal mining activities at Bepoase using two excavators, a washing plant, and a water pumping machine. They were on a routine patrol in the Prestea area.
The two officers were able to capture the two foreigners despite the fact that the miners fled when they saw them.
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The pumping unit and one excavator control board were then turned over to the police.
However, the court presided over by Judge Hathia Ama Manu, noted that “the country is at a point where our water bodies, especially those of us in the Western Region, have been destroyed due to illegal mining.” The court described the circumstances under which they had entered into the illegal business as “unfortunate.”
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According to the court, the accused had no justification for destroying the environment.
The two men were to be deported to Nigeria after serving their sentences, the court ruled.
The excavator, along with its control board and water pumping device, was also ordered to be seized by the state by the court. Their delivery to the Minerals Commission is scheduled.
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