Six illegal miners arrested at Dormaa East of the Bono Region have each been granted GH₵150,000.00 bail with one surety to be justified for engaging in small-scale mining without a licence.
A circuit court at Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Dormaa Central Municipality granted bail to Benjamin Kofi Boakye, 52, farmer, Francis Akanyanga, 21, farmer, and Inusah Abdulai, 20, unemployed, when they were arraigned.
The rest were Rashid Hamza, 22, unemployed, Samuel Oteng, 16, welder apprentice, and Collins Yeboah, 17, mason apprentice.
They all pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned to Tuesday, November 22.
Police Inspector (P/Inspt.) Emmanuel Asare, the prosecutor, told the court, presided by Mr Samuel Djanie Kotey, that the complainant, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Agyemang, is the Dormaa East District Chief Executive and Chairman of the District Security Committee.
He said at about 1330 hours Wednesday, October 26, 2022, the complainant, accompanied by police officers from the District Police Command, went on an operation in some parts of the district to curb illegal mining activities.
At Supre in Dormaa-Akwamu, Boakye and Oteng, the first and fifth accused, respectively, were met engaging in illegal mining without a licence in the company of others along the Supre River in different illegal mining (galamsey) pits.
He said the security team arrested Boakye and Oteng whilst the others fled, but Akanyanga, the second accused, was arrested by the roadside on his way home.
P/Inspt. Asare said the team extended the operation to the Kyeremansuo River area near Kyeremasu in the district and met Abdulai and Hamza, the third and fourth accused, among others engaging in galamsey and were arrested.
He said along the Momsobour stream near Wamfie, Yeboah, the sixth accused person, was also arrested but his colleagues escaped.
One water-pumping machine, nine shovels, four pickaxes, four washing carpets, two black plastic basins, and four rubber buckets used by the accused persons were retrieved at the different sites.
During interrogations, the first accused admitted engaging in illegal mining but the rest denied the offence.
On Friday, October 28, they were arraigned at the Wamfie District Court and remanded into police custody to assist in investigations and charged with the offence after, Inspt. Asare said.