A Koforidua Circuit Court has sentenced a 27-year-old carpenter Akwasi Agyemang and a 37-year-old farmer, Yaw Osei to four years in prison for mining illegally at Segyimase Kyebi in the Atewa Forest reserve in the Eastern Region.
A third person, 35-year-old tiler, Kwasi Poku, has been sentenced to serve two years in prison and is due to reappear in court.
The three were all convicted after they pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit crime, mining without authority, mining without license and possession of firearms without lawful authority.
They were arrested on Monday by personnel from the Forestry Commission following a tip off.
The Presiding Judge, Her Lordship, Ms Mercy Addai-Kotei sentenced the accused persons to pay a penalty unit of GH¢2,500 and in addition, serve two years in prison after they pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit crime.
On the charge of mining without a license, Ms Addai-Kotei sentenced Akwasi Agyemang and Yaw Osei to pay a fine of GH¢2,500 and in addition, serve two years in prison with hard labour.
For possessing of firearms without lawful authority, the judge sentenced Yaw Osei,who claimed ownership of the locally manufactured pistol retrieved when the three were arrested, to pay a fine of GH¢1,000 or in default serve 2 years in prison with hard labour.
Kwasi Poku, who pleaded not guilty to the charge of mining without a license has been remanded into prison custody to reappear on March 1.
By: Neil Nii Amartey Karnaku/citifmonline.com/Ghana