A group of 32 persons who were arrested at the Akenteng Forest Reserve for posing as National Security Operatives to engage in illegal mining have been refused bail by the Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’.
The court presided over by Her Honour Mercy Addei Kotei for the second time refused bail to the accused persons. They have been remanded for the second time in police custody and are to reappear in court on June 8, 2021.
The accused are facing charges of possession of firearms without lawful excuse and mining in a forest reserve.
Upon their arrest by the Eastern Regional Police Command, the suspects who were engaged in galamsey under the false pretence of being National Security Operatives had in possession short guns, pump-action gun, assault rifles, 10 rounds of ammunition, 12 Gotta handsets, three handcuffs, four shovels and an electric shocker.
According to reports, the angry youth of Akanteng, a town near Osinease, on May 4, accosted the group while they were mining in the forest.
The Prosecution revealed that the fake National Security Operatives had been visiting mining areas to carry out illegal mining activities. In some instance, the armed group had seized gold and monies belonging to small scale miners.
The prosecution urged the court to give them ample time as they proceed with the investigation. However, the Lawyer for the accused persons pleaded with the court to grant them bail with the assurance that they will be made available anything the court needed them.
A report by Daily Guide indicates that relatives of the 32 persons were left disappointed and could not hold back their tears when the court extended the stay of the accused persons in police custody.