49-year-old Chinese arrested for illegal mining

The Forestry Commission (FC) last Friday arrested a 49-year-old Chinese man, for allegedly engaging in illegal mining ‘Galamsey’ at the Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve in Bibiani in the Western North Region.

The suspect, Lin Chil, is currently in custody of the Bibiani Police assisting with investigations.

Twenty illegal miners who were also on-site managed to escape when they saw the FC task force approaching while two excavators were also immobilised.

The Manager, Corporate Affairs and Media Relations of the FC, Mrs Joyce Ofori Kwafo disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview in Accra, yesterday.

She said the operation which aimed at tackling illegal mining in the forest reserve was undertaken by staff of the Bibiani Forest District of the Forest Services Division (FSD), in collaboration with the members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) of the FC.

 She said the FC task team conducted the operation following information that some illegal miners had invaded the Manse Community portion of the Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve and were allegedly guarded by heavily armed men, led by retired military officer, ex-Warrant Officer Daniel Antwi.

Mrs Kwafo recalled that in June this year, staff of the FC embarked on a similar operation in the same Reserve and immobilised some gold processing equipment.

She said that a few days after that operation, some military officers, engaged to provide security services for Mensin Gold Bibiani Limited, a mining company, went to the Bibiani District Office of FSD on June 6, 2024 to threaten the staff.

Mrs Kwafo alleged that the military men who were in a military vehicle, entered the premises of the District Office, shouting the names of the District and Assistant District Managers, and threatened to harm them, saying “we will deal with you.”

Shortly after they arrived, the military men left the premises, due to the large number of people who had gathered there to collect seedlings for the Green Ghana Day event.

She therefore appealed to the Ghana Armed Forces to investigate the conduct of the military officers stationed at Mensin Gold Bibiani Limited, who went to the premises of the Bibiani District Forest Services Division office to threaten staff and take appropriate disciplinary action against them.

She recalled that in November last year, a team from the FC arrested nine persons, including the Chief of Manse, Nana Kwame Sobreh II, who were illegally mining in the same Reserve.

The Manager Corporate Affairs, said the suspects were eventually handed over to the Western North Regional Police Command for further investigations and were later released on bail.

Mrs Kwafo stated till now, the suspects had not been arraigned before a court, adding that the Police Command had indicated that the docket on the case has been referred to the Attorney General’s (AG) Department for study and advice.

She requested the AG Department to hasten the process regarding the nine individuals, which includes the Chief of Manse, in order to speed up the prosecution of the arrested suspects as a warning to potential offenders.


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