Two chainsaw operators, Emmanuel Toah, 28, and Stephen Asare, 45, who illegally entered Tain II Forest Reserve and cut 115 teak trees at Ayakomasu in the Brong Ahafo Region, have each been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in hard labour by a Sunyani Magistrate Court (A) presided over by Jojo Hagan.
The two who reside at Nsoatre in the Sunyani West District of the region entered the Tain II Forest Reserve on February 7, 2018 at about 2:30 pm and fell 115 teak trees without licence.
They were hauled before the court on charges of felling trees without licence and harvesting timber without Valid Timber Utilization contract.
The two pleaded guilty to the charges and were convicted on their own plea.
The presiding judge sentenced the two to a fine of GH¢1,140 or in default serve six months in prison.
The convicts, however, failed to pay the fine and were subsequently given a custodial sentence of six months in hard labour.
The prosecution told the court that the complainant in the matter is John Kofi Mensah, a range supervisor of Tain II Forest Reserve.
He said the range supervisor while on patrol with his forest guards saw the convicts in the forest reserve felling trees and when he approached them, they took to their heels and left behind the chainsaw, which was seized by the forest guards.
He stated that a complaint was lodged with Brong Ahafo Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
The prosecution said through the instrumentality of the Sunyani West District Forestry Manager, Beneath Ntiamoah, the convicts were lured to a drinking spot at Fiapre for negotiations for the release of the chainsaw.
He said while the forestry personnel were negotiating with the convicts in the bar, the police, who had laid ambush, arrested them.
They were subsequently charged and hauled before the court.
The prosecution told the court that the total volume of the trees fell is 30.47 cubic meters and valued at GH¢4, 558.97.
Source: Daily Guide
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