Forestry Commission arrests chief and nine others for illegal mining

Forestry - Rapid News GH

The Forestry Commission’s Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) detained ten people for illegally mining in the Manse part of the Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve in the Western North Region.

Nana Kwame Sobre II, the chief of Manse, was among those detained on November 29.

They were apprehended during a swoop on the Manse side of the Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve near Diaso in the Western North Region’s Bibiani Forest District.

Two excavators and two heavy-duty generating plants discovered at the illegal mining site were also immobilized by the RRTs. Forestry


Osman Shaibu, Nana Kwasi, Desmond Nkrumah, Abraham Donkor, Frank Mensah, Richard Kurofie, Patrick Ayambila, Abdul Salam, and Rasad Nuoeeikaa were the names of the nine other suspects.

They were all given bail following their arrest and incarceration at the Dunkwa Police Station, from where they were moved to Sefwi Wiaso to be processed for court.

The suspects said in their statement that the first suspect, Nana Kwame Sobre II, was the one who recruited them into the illicit mining enterprise. Forestry


The operation, which was coordinated by the Forest Services Division Headquarters and the Rapid Response Unit, was part of the FC’s ongoing and routine operations to flush out illegal miners who had entered the Reserve with heavy machinery and destroyed the forest cover and polluted water bodies through their illegal mining operations.

These criminal acts are said to be supported by some of the region’s leading political actors and traditional authorities.

Speaking to the press, the Coordinator of the Rapid Response Unit, Samuel Darko Akonnor, issued a strong warning to all such perpetrators to desist from such acts, stating that the Forestry Commission was determined to combat them to save the nation’s forest and wildlife resources, as well as water bodies, for now and future generations.

Fighting illegal mining

Since 2018, the Forestry Commission has been fighting illicit mining in the country’s forest reserves to protect the country from the disastrous impact of unlawful mining on the green belt and water bodies.

Since the operations began, the commission has used a variety of techniques in the struggle.

These have included routine raids, arrests, and seizures, as well as the decommissioning of equipment used for illegal mining in forest reserves.

They also advocate for the prosecution of illegal miners who have been apprehended.

The military has recently educated 964 frontline field personnel of the commission to improve law enforcement.

In addition, the commission has purchased 1000 pump action weapons for trained officers in order to increase morale and frontline staff capacity to protect forest reserves.

Surveillance, intelligence collection, and monitoring of illegal mining activities in forest reserves have also been stepped up to ensure the early detection and arrest of culprits.

While pursuing this severe course of action, the FC has consistently hosted stakeholder engagements and education on the negative environmental repercussions of illicit mining in order to garner public support for combating the scourge.

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