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Forestry Commission arrests 30 illegal miners, excavators shut down in forest reserves

Nineteen illegal miners have been apprehended in the Bonsa River Forest Reserve by the Rapid Response Team (RRT) and employees of the Forest Services Division (FSD) in the Tarkwa District of the Western Region.

The arrests took place at Aboso North Range on Friday, June 28, 2024, according to a statement from the Forestry Commission’s Corporate Affairs and Media Relations office. This operation came after one on June 12, 2024, in which the same woodland reserve saw the arrest of 11 people.

The illegal miners had put up tents and were working in the reserve day and night. They carried water pumping devices, shovels, and other hand tools.

The Tarkwa Police Command has been tasked with conducting additional investigation and prosecution on behalf of the suspects.

Eleven suspects—ten men and one woman—were taken into custody during the operation on June 12, 2024. The Attorney General’s Department has been consulted in their cases, and they have been remanded in prison detention.

The announcement also disclosed that inspectors from the Forestry Commission had detained over 111 people in 21 ongoing cases of illicit mining in forest reserves across the Region.

These cases are being prosecuted in different phases at Takoradi Circuit Court and Sekondi High Court 2.