Court Fines three illegal Chainsaw operators GH¢3,600

A Koforidua Circuit Court ‘A’ presided over by Her Honour Janet Anima Maafo on Wednesday convicted three illegal lumberers to a fine of GH¢1,200  each for illegally harvesting economic trees in the Atewa Forest Reserve.
The convicts will serve 8 months each jail sentence in default.
The convicts are Kwaku Adu, a chainsaw operator, David Oppong and Richard Odoi.
Ultimate News’ Kojo Ansah reported that they were convicted on their own plea of guilty.
The Court also ordered the Forestry Commission to auction the confiscated logs and lumber for the proceeds to be put into the consolidated fund.
Background:
The Begoro District branch of the Forestry Commission in the Eastern region arrested three illegal chainsaw operators harvesting economic trees in the Akwadum Portion of the Atiwa Forest reserve in May, 2017.
The suspects were arrested by the rapid response team and Rangers at the Begoro Forestry office having gotten wind of their operation.
The Begoro District Forestry Manager Kwame Oteng Awuah had earlier told the media that, the incidents of illegal lumbering has risen recently in the area following the government clampdown on illegal gold mining.
He said the frustrated illegal miners are diversifying into illegal logging in the Forest Reserve posing danger to the forest.
According to him, the commission has intensified surveillance and monitoring to tackle the new threat to the forest reserve hence two patrol teams have been constituted to patrol the area to clampdown on the perpetrators.
By: Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM