Home » Breaking News » FC Immobilises Two Excavators, Arrests One Chinese National in a Swoop at Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve, Bibiani

FC Immobilises Two Excavators, Arrests One Chinese National in a Swoop at Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve, Bibiani

Staff of the Bibiani Forest District of the Forest Services Division (FSD), in collaboration with members of the Rapid Response Team, both of the Forestry Commission(FC), have immobilised two excavators and arrested one Chinese national, who gave his name as Lin Chil, 49 years old.

This happened during a swoop carried out at dawn on Friday, 5th July 2024, in the Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve in the Bibiani Forest District of the Western North Region to combat illegal gold mining in the forest reserve.

Lin Chil has since been handed over to the Bibiani Police Command for further investigation and prosecution.

About 20 illegal miners who were also on-site, however, managed to escape arrest as they bolted upon seeing the Forestry Commission Team. The Team also saw one excavator, which they could not have access to because it was surrounded by gaping holes dug out by these illegal miners.

The Forestry Commission Team embarked on this operation based on intelligence gathered that some illegal miners had invaded the Manse Community portion of the Anhwiaso East Forest Reserve and were guarded by heavily armed men, led by one retired military officer, ex-WO Daniel Antwi.

In June this year, staff of the Forestry Commission embarked on a similar operation in the same Reserve and immobilized some gold processing equipment. A few days after that operation, some military officers, engaged to provide security services for Mensin Gold Bibiani Ltd., a mining company, went to the Bibiani District Office of FSD on 6th June, 2024 to threaten the staff. The military men who were in a military vehicle, entered the premises of the District Office, shouting the names of the District and Assistant District Managers, and threatened to harm them, saying “We will deal with you”. A Toyota Tundra vehicle which was believed to be accompanying the military men and occupied by some unknown men including ex-WO Daniel Antwi parked just outside close to the entrance of the FSD office.  Shortly after they arrived, the military men left the premises, due to the large number of people who had gathered there to collect seedlings for the Green Ghana Day event.

It will be recalled that in November 2023, a team from the Forestry Commission arrested nine persons, including the Chief of Manse, Nana Kwame Sobreh II, who were illegally mining in the same Reserve. The suspects were eventually handed over to the Western North Regional Police Command for further investigations and were later released on bail. However, up till now, the suspects have not been arraigned before a court. The Police Command had indicated that the docket on the case has been referred to the Attorney General’s Department for study and advice.

The Forestry Commission is making a passionate appeal to the Ghana Armed Forces to investigate the conduct of the military officers stationed at Mensin Gold Bibiani Ltd. who went to the premises of the Bibiani District Forest Services Division office to threaten staff and take appropriate disciplinary action against them.

The Commission is once again appealing to the Attorney General’s Department to expedite action on the case of the nine persons, including the Chief of Manse, to facilitate expeditious prosecution of the suspects who were arrested in November 2023 to serve as a deterrent to others who intend to do the same. The fight against illegal mining in forest reserves requires concerted effort from all and sundry, especially the judiciary and law enforcement agencies.

Source: Publicagenda.news

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