Alexander Addo, 24, who is unemployed, was fined GHS 120,000 by a Circuit Court in Dormaa-Ahenkro, Dormaa Central Municipality of Bono Region for engaging in small-scale mining without a permit.
Addo confessed to the crime. If not, he would be sentenced to 20 years in prison with hard labor.
The complainant, a farmer, and the convict both resided in different suburbs of Wamfie, the district capital of Dormaa East, Bono Region, according to Police Inspector Emmanuel Asare, who testified before the court presided over by Mr. Samuel Djanie Kotey.
According to Police Inspector Asare, the complainant owned farmland in Wammu, close to Wamfie, where some of the land had been used to grow plantains and vegetables.
He claimed that the prisoner and other “galamseyers” (illegal miners) had taken control of the land and severely damaged it for more than a year.
All attempts by the police and the complainant to apprehend those illegal miners had been unsuccessful, according to Police Inspector Asare. It wasn’t until about four months ago that the complainant, with the help of a few young men, apprehended the accused while he was actively engaging in illegal mining on the farmland.
According to the prosecutor, the accused fled while being escorted to the police station.
On Sunday, December 12, 2022, at around 1700 hours, the complainant paid a visit to her farm, where she encountered the accused and one other accomplice who were actively mining on the farmland.
He claimed the complainant hid herself and invited her son, a witness in the case, to the scene, where they discussed how to arrest miners.
The complainant and her son secretly left for home and returned around 1900 hours to find the accused and his accomplice washing and sieving some soil by the Wam River’s bank in search of gold.
According to the prosecutor, when the accused and his accomplice saw the complainant and her son, they fled.
They did, however, succeed in arresting him (accused) and handing him over to the police, along with a washing carpet and a plastic container.
According to Police Inspector Asare, the complainant returned to the scene around 0700 hours on Monday, December 19, 2022, and discovered a pickaxe, a shovel, and a cutlass, which were believed to be other implements used by the accused and his accomplice.
During the course of the investigation, the convict admitted to the crime in his investigation caution statement to police, naming one Effah of Wamfie as his accomplice.
The police went to Effah’s house but were told he had left town, so the convict was charged with the crime after an investigation.
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