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9 arrested in Atewa Forest for illegal mining

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Nine people have been arrested at the Saaman Joaso portion of the Atewa Forest Reserve in the Eastern Region.

The nine persons aged between 15 years and 45 years were arrested on Tuesday evening by forest rangers at the Kyebi Forest District.

District Manager for the Kyebi District Forestry Area, Emmanuel Antwi, disclosed that the nine have been handed over to the Kyebi District Police Command for investigation and possible prosecution.

Mr Emmanuel Antwi said about 0.5 hectares of the Saaman Joaso portion of the forest have been destroyed by the nine suspects.

This is the second arrest in five days within the Atewa Forest Reserve.

Ten people were arrested over the weekend, busily mining in the forest.

The 10 suspects arrested over the weekend are yet to appear before the court.

The 17, 400 hectares of Atewa Forest Reserve classified as a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area continues to suffer from illegal activities that threaten the survival of biodiversity within the forest reserve.

Mr Emmanuel Antwi says the Forestry Commission has embarked on several community engagements to drum home the need for community members to desist from illegal mining and lumbering in the forest but appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

He wants the Ghana Police Service and Attorney General Department to facilitate the processes to prosecute the culprit to serve as a deterrent to others.

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