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Five Burkinabe Nationals Sentenced to 20 Years for Illegal Mining

The Wa Circuit Court has handed down a 20-year prison sentence to five Burkinabe nationals for their involvement in illegal mining in the Wa West district of the Upper West region.

The court found the individuals guilty of contravening section 23(1) of the Criminal Offences Act and section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, as amended.

The convicted individuals were apprehended on March 23 at an illegal mining site in Maase, Wa West district, following a tip-off received by patrolling police officers regarding ongoing illegal mining activities in the area.

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Upon being spotted by the police, the miners attempted to flee but were captured. A subsequent search of the site led to the discovery of three water-pumping machines and other mining equipment.

During interrogation, the accused admitted in their caution statements to engaging in mining without a license, explaining that they had previously been involved in similar activities in Burkina Faso but had crossed into Ghana due to drought conditions.

The court convicted the five foreigners on two charges: conspiracy to commit a crime (mining without a license) and mining without a license as non-Ghanaians.

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In an interview with Citi News, the principal state attorney, Saeed Abdul Shakur, emphasized that the accused were caught red-handed and could not deny their participation in the illegal activities.

The conviction serves as a stern warning to individuals involved in illegal mining, as the minimum sentence for foreigners engaging in such activities in Ghana is 20 years.

Shakur stated, “The court’s decision is a strong warning to those who engage in illegal mining activities.”

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