26 West African nationals fined GH¢15.6m for galamsey

The foreigners were arrested for invading and mining n the Atewa Forest Reserve.

The foreigners, mainly Nigeriens and Malians were ordered to pay a fine each of GH¢600,000 which means they are all expected to pay a total of GH¢15.6million to the state or in default spend five years in jail.

The court found them guilty of conspiracy to do illegal mining and mining without a licence contrary to Section 23(1) of Act 29.

The accused told the court that they were not mining but were on a hunting expedition. Others also claimed they were at the site to pray.

The counsel for the accused persons, Dolla Mensah pleaded for the sentence to be reduced because they have already spent 8 months in custody after they were arrested January 26, 2017.

But the Deputy state prosecutor Cyril Boateng asked the court to give the accused the maximum sentence so that it will serve as an example that illegal mining will no longer be tolerated.

The judge, Mercy Addai Kotei rejected the pleas of the accused and convicted them.

Three other Ghanaians who were also standing trial for the same offence were sentenced to pay a fine each of GH¢2,500 or in default spend three years in jail.

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