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Galamsey Menace: Lack of interpreters pushes court to throw out cases involving Chinese – Forestry Commission

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George Agbenowoshi, the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, has brought to light the frequent release of Chinese nationals arrested for illegal mining, also known as galamsey.

The dismissals are often due to the absence of interpreters in court, leading to prolonged trials that ultimately end without convictions.

During an event held by Parliament to celebrate 2024 Green Ghana Day, Mr. Agbenowoshi expressed his concerns over the significant obstacles that district Forestry offices encounter. Among these, he pointed out the delayed disbursement of funds and the complexities faced in legally pursuing Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining activities.

“We have the challenge of timely release of funds for forestry-related activities including plantation activities in our sector and issues sent to court have been there for years without redress. Issues of mining activities involving Chinese that take an interpreter to translate are often thrown out of court as a result of the lack of an interpreter.”

Mr. Agbenowoshi also bemoaned the inadequate logistics which he indicated is negatively affecting its fight against forest offences including galamsey, illegal farming and a host of other illicit activities.

“Logistics such as pickup vehicles and motorbikes for our field operations and activities at the various districts stations are challenging…and that makes it difficult to fight forest offences in our forest reserves.

“These offenses include illegal mining activities, illegal farming, bushfires, illegal lumbering, illegal logging and chainsaw activities across the country.

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