Home » Ghanaian Court Jails Illegal Miners for 125 Years

Ghanaian Court Jails Illegal Miners for 125 Years

by Victor Adetimilehin
Edited in Prisma app with Mountain

A Ghanaian court has sentenced five illegal miners to a total of 125 years in prison for mining in the Ankobra River without permission.

The five men, Richard Kumasi, Fiamahe Jerry John, Korblavi Kumasi, Daniel Afenu, and Matthew Gedie, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit crime and undertaking small-scale mining without authority.

They were each given five years for the first charge and 25 years for the second charge. The sentences will run concurrently. The court also fined each of them GH¢120,000 (about $20,000) or, in default, five more years in prison.

The men were arrested on August 17, 2021, by the local assembly member and some opinion leaders who received information that they were using a dredge machine to extract gold from the river. The machine was burned, and the men were handed over to the police for investigation.

The case is part of the government’s efforts to clamp down on illegal mining, also known as galamsey, which has caused severe environmental damage to Ghana’s water bodies and forests.

Ghana is the leading producer of gold in Africa and about 35% of it is mined by small-scale miners, most of whom operate illegally. According to a recent report by the BBC, 60% of Ghana’s water bodies are now polluted due to illegal mining activities.

The government has been trying to regulate the sector by issuing licences and enforcing laws, but many miners have failed to comply or faced bureaucratic hurdles. Some experts have suggested that the government should collaborate with traditional authorities and local communities to find sustainable solutions to the problem.

Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has vowed to end illegal mining in the country and restore its natural resources. He said the government was committed to supporting legal and responsible mining that would benefit the people and the environment.

Source: Graphic Online

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