Three persons have been remanded in police custody for alleged illegal mining operations within the Apampram forest reserve in the Amansie West district of the Ashanti region. The three have been arraigned before the Bekwai circuit court for conspiracy to mine without license and mining without license. The accused persons are 23 year old Abdulai Safianu, 25 year old Ibrahim Musah and 18 year old Sulemana Mustapha. All the three persons were arrested on Thursday, 11th October 2018 whilst illegally mining within the Apampram forest reserve. A team from the Bekwai Forest Services Division on patrol duty to clamp down on illegal chainsaw activities chanced on the suspects, arrested them and handed them over to the police. [caption id="attachment_99967" align="aligncenter" width="615"] George Agbenowoshi[/caption] Three water pumping machines and other mining equipment were retrieved from them. When they were arraigned on Monday morning, the prosecutor, Detective Inspector Stephen Ofori, prayed the court to adjourn the case for further investigations. The judge, Frederick Nawura, agreed to the plea and remanded the accused persons into police custody to re-appear Friday, October 19. The Bekwai District Manager of the Forest Services Division, George Agbenowoshi, wants the court to assist in giving out punitive punishment to deter invasion of forests. “We want the court to assist us hand out punitive punishment to offenders. Sometimes the punishment is not deterrent enough and tomorrow you see the perpetrators back to committing the same crime”. Mr Agbenowoshi cautioned illegal chainsaw operators and miners to desist from destroying the forest, assuring them that his outfit “will apprehend you and make sure the law deals with you”. Meanwhile, the Bekwai Forest Services Division confiscated hundreds of logs in the Manso Nkwanta area in a drive to clamp down on illegal chainsaw operators.