Nine suspected illegal miners who allegedly entered the Jimira Forest Reserve at Nkonteng near Nkawie in the Atwima Mponua District in the Ashanti Region to mine gold have been arrested.
The arrest followed a tip-off on the activities of the illegal miners.
The suspects, including a female, were arrested in the act by forest guards from the Nkawie District Office of the Forestry Commission last Wednesday.
Their names were given as Michael Gyamfi, Kwame Kwakye ,Abdullai Iddrisu, Daniel Agyei, Haruna Seidu, Agyei Bernard, Kwaku Gyamfi, Afia Cynthia and Adunai.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the arrest, the Nkawie District Manager of the Forestry Commission, Nana Poku Bosompem, said the guards laid ambush in the forest from 4a.m. till noon when the illegal miners started work in the forest.
He said they were arrested immediately they started operating.
According to the forestry officer, following the ban on small-scale mining, the illegal miners had devised new means of mining.
Unlike previously where they used excavators, he said, now they had resorted to old artisanal means of using shovel, pick axe and pumping machines which did not attract the attention and suspicion of people.
He stated that the illegal miners went deep into the forest and dug around in search of the precious mineral. They have since been handed over to the police for investigations together with the exhibits.