A Circuit Court in Obuasi has slapped a GH˘4,500 fine on nine illegal miners, who are popularly known as ‘galamseyers,’ for unlawful entry and stealing of eight amba sacks of gold quartz belonging to AngloGold Ashanti (AGA).
The nine illegal miners, Felix Bandy, Nuuruden Adama, Yusif Adams, Abubakari Musah, Salifu Yakubu, Abdul Osman, Haruna Abubakar, Prince Amankwa and Issahaku Azuma, would go to prison for 12 months each if they fail to pay the amount.
Each person was fined GH˘500 by the court, presided over by Gilbert Ayisi Addo after they were convicted on their own plea, contrary to sections 155 and 124(1) of Act 29/60 as amended by paragraph 4 of NLCD398/69 respectively.They were arrested with the exhibits after surfacing through an illegal tunnel at the Sanso Ramp, which is a restricted area.
Some relations of the accused persons swamped the courtroom to capacity and expressed happiness after the trial judge read the verdict.Presenting the facts of the case, the prosecutor, Inspector Emmanuel Osei Kumi told the court that the complainants were security personnel of AGA whilst the accused persons were unemployed young men at Gauso, a suburb of Obuasi.
According to him, during the night of January 4, 2010, the nine accused persons (now convicted) passed through the illegal tunnel at the Sanso Ramp, popularly referred to as “Kutre face” to the underground section of the mines to prospect for gold quartz.
He noted that on January 8, 2010 at about 4:30 am, the accused persons surfaced through the same route with eight amba bags of gold quartz. Inspector Kumi indicated they were spotted by the security personnel of AGA, who arrested them and later handed them over to the police, together with the exhibits.
Issahaku Azuma, the ninth accused person, was taken to the hospital after he sustained an injury. The accused persons, he noted, were arraigned before the court and charged with unlawful entry and stealing.
Source: Ernest Kofi Adu/ Daily Guide
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