A team from the Rapid Response Unit of the Forestry Commission, drawn from various districts across the country, has demobilized 10 excavators and arrested eight persons for engaging in illegal mining activities in the Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve in the Juaboso Forest District of the Western North Region on Monday.
They were made up of four Chinese nationals and four Ghanaians. Others, however, managed to escape into the forest.
The names of the suspects are Wen Shi Yu, 30; Wen Yong Cheng, 30; Wen Fu Kin, 58; Lee Pin, 60; Edward Owusu, 25; Kwesi Frank, 42; Abudu Ramani, 41 and Joe Naburi, 37.
As part of the operation in the Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve, the Team also picked up two men alleged to be policemen, carrying AK-47 assault rifles.
The Team razed down some makeshift wooden structures erected by the illegal miners. Three Toyota 4×4 vehicles with registration numbers GN 4165 -12; GT 9334 -12, and GS 4895-Z, used to facilitate the illegalities were also seized, in addition to one unregistered motorbike and two pump action guns.
The suspects have been sent to the Sefwi Wiawso Police Regional Command for further investigations and prosecution, together with unspecified quantities of a substance suspected to be gold which the Team seized.
In a related development, two excavators were also demobilized in the same Reserve on Sunday.
The Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve lies along the eastern end of River Bia in the Western North Region of Ghana and serves as an important watershed. It is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the country with a rich diversity of rare and restricted range flora and fauna. A portion of this Reserve has been designated a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA).