A circuit court at Dormaa-Ahenkro, Dormaa Central Municipality of Bono Region has sentenced Alexander Addo, aged 24 and unemployed, to a fine of GH¢1.2 billion for engaging in small-scale mining without a license.
Addo pleaded guilty to the charge. In default, he would serve 20 years imprisonment in hard labour.
Police Inspector (P/Inspt.) Emmanuel Asare told the court presided over by Mr Samuel Djanie Kotey, that the complainant, a farmer, and the convict were residents of different suburbs at Wamfie, the district capital of Dormaa East, Bono Region.
P/Inspt. Asare said the complainant owned farmland located at Wammu near Wamfie, where part of that land had been cultivated with plantain and vegetables.
He said for more than a year now, the convict and other ‘galamseyers' (illegal miners) had taken possession of the land and caused great damage to it.
P/Inspt. Asare added all efforts made by the police and the complainant to arrest those illegal miners failed, until about four months ago when the complainant, with the assistance of some young men, arrested the accused while he was actively engaging in illegal mining on the farmland.
The prosecutor said while escorting the accused to the police station, he escaped.
When the complainant visited her farm at about 1700 hours on Sunday, December 12, 2022, she met the accused and one other accomplice actively engaged in mining on the farmland.
He said the complainant hid and invited her son, a witness in the case, to the scene and they planned on how to arrest miners.
The complainant and her son secretly left for home and came back in the evening at about 1900 hours, only to meet the accused and his accomplice washing and sieving some soil by the bank of the Wam River with the intention of getting gold.
The prosecutor said the accused and his accomplice fled when they saw the complainant and her son.
They, however, succeeded in arresting him (the accused) to give him, together with a washing carpet and a plastic container to the Police.
P/Inspt. Asare said at about 0700 hours on Monday, December 19, 2022, the complainant returned to the scene and found a pickaxe, a shovel, and a cutlass believed to be other implements used by the accused and his accomplice.
During investigations, the convict admitted the offence in his investigation caution statement to police and mentioned one Effah of Wamfie as his accomplice. The police went to Effah's house but were told he had travelled out of town and after investigations, the convict was charged with the offence.