‘Chinese galamseyers’ often thrown out of court over lack of interpreters – Forestry Commission

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George Agbenowoshi, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, has stated that Chinese nationals regularly arrested for illicit mining activities, known as galamsey, are frequently released by courts due to a lack of translators.

He stated that these matters are generally drawn out in court and subsequently dismissed due to the language barrier.

Speaking during a mini-ceremony planned by Parliament to commemorate 2024 Green Ghana Day, Mr. Agbenowoshi highlighted the multiple issues that district Forestry offices across the country confront.

He stressed the late distribution of monies as well as the legal obstacles the Commission has when prosecuting Chinese nationals.

“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.”

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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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