A Takoradi Circuit Court has jailed three illegal miners 15 years each and also fined them GH¢720,000 for undertaking small-scale mining operations without license.
The three convicts, Joseph Donkor, 40, Joseph Paul, 27, and Charles Ewusi, 27, were each jailed 15years on two counts of mining without license and conspiracy to commit crime.
The convicts were caught in the act of illegally prospecting for gold in a forest reserve on February 16 during an operation by a team from the Regional Forestry Commission.
This judgement is the first of the many illegal mining cases pending before the judiciary in the Western Region while some of the suspects in custody are assisting police with the investigation.
While passing her judgement, the judge Mrs. Asare advised all individuals not to engage in illegal mining.