The prosecutor said investigations into the case were still ongoing to arrest and bring the other accomplices who were now at large to book
The four Russians and Ukrainians standing trial for engaging in illegal mining (galamsey) at Tontokrom in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region have pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking small scale mining in Ghana without license.
The three Russians, Farid Isaev, Vadim Potokin and Serhii Chepurnly; and the Ukrainian, Genadly Rubec, have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and undertaking small-scale mining without licence.
At the court hearing on Wednesday, May 31, the pleas of the alleged illegal miners were granted in Russian which was translated by an interpreter when they appeared in court.
Their arrest was caused by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu when he paid a visit to some illegal mining sites.
The company owned and run by Russians and Ukrainians was mining on concessions fronted by three Ghanaian companies – Kasmil Mining Company Limited, K. Afriyie and Sons Precious Metal Company and King Solomon Mining Company.
Fact of the case
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Cletus Abadanlowra, the prosecutor told the court that Isaev, Potokin and Chepurnly were engineers of a mining company – Geo Professional Service, while Rubec was the site manager of the same company.
“The team found Isaev, Potokin, Chepurnly and Rubec busily engaged in galamsey without lawful authority. They were using heavy equipment which had degraded a vast land thereby destroying farms and the source of drinking water for the community,” he added.
The prosecutor added that investigations into the case were still ongoing to arrest and bring the other accomplices who were now at large to book.