Eastern Region: 187 ‘galamseyers’ jailed since 2017- Attorney General

The convicts include Twenty-nine Nigeriens, Seven Nigerians, and three Chinese nationals.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

About 187 illegal miners are currently serving various terms of imprisonment for their involvement in the act in the Eastern Region.

The convicts include Twenty-nine Nigeriens, Seven Nigerians, and three Chinese nationals.

These were the outcome of over 48 cases prosecuted by the state from the Region under the leadership of Chief State Attorney, Emily Addo-Okyireh.

The Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, made this known during a media engagement in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Capital.

He added that most of these cases were tried in Circuit Court B in Koforidua presided over by Mercy Adjei-Kotey(as she then was).

Moreover, Mr. Dame mentioned that a majority of the now convicts were tried pursuant to the old section 99 of Act 703 and Section 99(1) of the same, which prescribed a fine of three thousand penalty units or a prison term of not more than five years.

The Attorney General, despite the above, said that his outfit was able to get 40 out of the 48 cases, the maximum number of custodial sentences allowed under the law.

Also under the new law, thus the Mineral and Mining(Amendment) Act, 2019(Act 995), the AG said that thirty-three of the convicted persons were tried between August 2021 and 2022 of September and serving various prison terms between 15 to 20 years.

On the new law's impact on the ‘galamsey’ fight, Mr. Godfred Dame indicated that it has enhanced sentencing for both buying and selling without a license and increased the minimum term for illegal mining to a minimum of 15 years in prison for Ghanaians.

For non-Ghanaians, he said that Act 995 has placed the punishment for illegal mining to a minimum jail term of 20 years and 25 years maximum.

The AG, therefore, concluded that the replacement of Section 99 of Act 703 with a new one under Act 995 means that the courts confronted with cases of illegal mining are obliged to apply the penalties under the new law rather than those of the old.

He added that out of the 48 successfully tried cases, there is only one pending appeal which he was sure the state would emerge victorious and thus used the opportunity to state that 43 new cases involving about 250 persons are currently ongoing at the Koforidua Circuit Court B.