Court Issues Bench Warrant For Arrest Of 3 Illegal Chinese Miners

The Nkawie Circuit Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of three Chinese nationals who were caught illegally prospecting for gold in the Asenanyo forest reserve near Nkawie.

A Ghanaian, the fourth accused person, Kwabena Boakye, who was in court, was fined a total of Ghc73, 763.

The four were arrested by the officials of the Nkawie Forestry Commission, for illegally prospecting for gold in the forest reserve and were expected to appear before the Nkawie Circuit Court on Friday, January 8, 2016.

They were accused of illegally entering the forest reserve and used excavators to destroy over four acres (4acres) of land area in an attempt to extract gold.

However, when the case was called, only their Ghanaian counterpart was present to answer to the charges of unlawful entry, causing unlawful damage and prospecting without licence.

The three are Lu Ming Sheng; Wu Ming Juang and Pan Li Wu, all engineers.

Consequently, the court presided over by Mr Michael Johnson Abbey, issued a bench warrant for their arrest.

Kwabena Boakye pleaded guilty to all the three charges preferred against him by the police.

The court convicted him on his own plea and fined him a total of GHC12, 000 (1000 penalty units) or in default, three years imprisonment.

Not even his plea that his intention was not to destroy the reserve and request for time to reclaim the land destroyed was accepted by the court.

Additionally, he was to pay a total of GHC61, 763 being the estimated cost of damage and reclamation of the destroyed forest to the Forestry Commission.

The court further gave him up to March 15, 2016 to reclaim the land destroyed and directed the forestry commission not to release the three excavators it seized from the accused persons until they have complied with the court ruling and fully reclaimed the land.

According to the facts as presented to the court by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Bernard Akotoge, on December 31, 2015, the Nkawie district office of the Forestry Commission received information that some people were prospecting for gold in the Asananyo forest reserve.

He said the district manager, Nana Poku Bosompem organised the Rapid Respond team together with some police men and moved to the site.

DSP Akotoge said when the team got there, they saw the convict together with the accomplices, now at large, with three excavators and a washing machine, busily mining in the reserve.

He said they arrested them and brought them to the Nkawie divisional police command where they were rearrested.

On January 4, 2016, he said the team together with the accused person went to the scene to assess the damage.