The Nkawie Circuit Court in the Atwima Mponua District of Ashanti, has sentenced two farmers who engaged in illegal mining activities in the Jimira Forest Reserve near Nyinahin to two years imprisonment each in hard labour.
Duut Yusifu and Moses Tiidabe, the convicts, pleaded guilty to unlawful entry, causing damage and involvement in illegal mining in a Forest Reserve.
They were convicted on their own pleas.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sylvanus Dalmeida told the Court presided over by Mr Michael Johnson Abbey that, the accused persons were arrested when they were caught in the process of prospecting for gold in a portion of the forest reserve, without authority.
He said they were using implements such as pick axes, shovels, a cutlass and a gold detector machine, prospecting for gold in the reserve.
He said that portion of the reserve had been given to a private developer for teak plantation under a Private Public Partnerships (PPP) program.
DSP Damelda said, on November 20 this year, two workers of the Company spotted the two and informed the Range Manager of the reserve about the incident.
He said they then moved to the scene and with the help of some witnesses arrested the two convicts and handed them over to the Nkawie Police.
According to the prosecution, the convicts admitted the offence in their cautioned statement and were thus charged after investigations.