The Sekondi High Court presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante on Monday remanded five Chinese and their five Ghanaian accomplices for allegedly engaging in illegal mining.
They were arrested last Friday for conducting their activities at Ankobra river cutting across two communities – Bamiankor and Duwale – in the Nzema East district of the Western region.
They have also constructed make shift structures on the river which includes their place of convenience.
The Chinese suspects are Dong Cheng, 30; Hung Jian, 51; Ning Guorui, 42; Yin Biquiang, 46 and Li Zilong, 44.
The Ghanaians are Eric Owusu, 28; Kwabena Adjei, 50; Nana Adu, 42; Kwasi Owusu, 28, and Kofi Darko, 21.
Western regional correspondent William Benjamin Peters who sat through court proceedings reports the suspects who have been remanded are to re-appear in court on April 10, 2017 for hearing to continue.
The ten suspects arrived at the Sekondi Magistrate court around 9:45am Monday morning accompanied by some police personnel.
According to the prosecutor, Sgt Francisca Nyarko, the magistrate court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case considering the nature of the offence and the punishment assigned to it.
She then prayed the court to refer the case to the Circuit Court in Takoradi.
The magistrate, Susana Eduful then discharged the suspects but they were rearrested and sent to the circuit court in Takoradi for hearing.
Immediately the judge made the pronouncement, the journalists and some of the residents who were in the court room quickly moved out and joined available vehicles straight to the Takoradi Circuit court.
However, to their disappointment to the journalists, some of whom had come from the national capital Accra, the Circuit Court did not sit today.
The suspects then had to be taken back to Sekondi and this time, to the high court.
The suspects were arraigned before the Sekondi High Court ‘one’ which was presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante.
The court remanded the alleged galamsey operators into police custody to reappear before on Monday April 10, 2017.
This was after a State Prosecutor, George Sackey had prayed the court to give the prosecution some time to further investigate the case.
He later told journalists in an interview that they want to find out whether the suspects are conducting their mining activities with the license from the relevant authorities and so the police should be given adequate time to investigate
He further added that, if the suspects are granted bail, they are likely to interfere with witnesses desiring to testify in the case.
Meanwhile, counsel for the suspects Stephen Alawaba told the court that his clients were entitled to bail looking at the charges preferred against them – mining without license and conspiracy.
The court however, refused to grant the alleged galamsey operators the bail and remanded them.
Source: 3news.com | Ghana