The Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) of the Forestry Commission have apprehended ten individuals engaged in illegal mining within the Manse section of the Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve in the Western North Region.
Among those detained during the early morning operation on November 29 is Nana Kwame Sobre II, the chief of Manse. The arrests occurred in the vicinity of Diaso within the Bibiani Forest District of the Western North Region.
This enforcement action also resulted in the immobilization of two excavators and two heavy-duty generator plants discovered at the illicit mining site.
The individuals, including Osman Shaibu, Nana Kwasi, Desmond Nkrumah, Abraham Donkor, Frank Mensah, Richard Kurofie, Patrick Ayambila, Abdul Salam, and Rasad Nuoeeikaa, were granted bail subsequent to initial detention at the Dunkwa Police Station. They were then transferred to Sefwi Wiaso for further legal processing.
According to the suspects’ statement, Nana Kwame Sobre II was allegedly the mastermind behind their involvement in the illegal mining trade.
The operation was meticulously carried out by the Forest Services Division Headquarters and the Rapid Response Unit, forming part of the ongoing and systematic efforts by the Forestry Commission to eradicate illegal mining within the Reserve. Such unauthorized activities, involving the use of heavy machinery, have resulted in deforestation and water pollution.
The suspects hinted at alleged support from influential political figures and traditional leaders in the region.
Addressing the media, Samuel Darko Akonnor, Coordinator of the Rapid Response Unit, issued a stern warning to potential wrongdoers, emphasizing the Commission’s unwavering commitment to combat these activities. The objective is to safeguard the nation’s forests, wildlife resources, and water bodies for both the current generation and posterity.
The Forestry Commission has been engaged in a battle against illegal mining within the country’s forest reserves since 2018, aiming to shield the nation from the adverse effects of such activities on its green belt and water resources.