14 Ghanaians Jailed For Violating Liberia’s Forestry Law

The Monrovia City Court has incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison 14 Ghanaians on charges of theft of property, violation of Article 15.51 of the Penal Law and Forestry Law and Section 5.90 and 6.1 of the Alien Nationality Law of Liberia.

The 14 Ghanaians including George Agya Pong, Kofi Ywayo, Amos Anom, Boateng Yam, Samuel Opoku, Moses Domeh, Robert Kwuaku, Eric Yam, KwaukuSafo, KwesiAsare, Kofi Agore, Damkwah Joseph, KwabenaAdu and KwabenaAfaa were on May 21, 2015 arrested by the Forestry Development Authority assisted by the Emergency Response Unit of the Liberia National Police and forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.

The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization charge sheet indicated that prior to the date of the arrest they received a tip- off that the defendants illegally and notoriously entered the Glio/Glarro Forest in Liberia between Grand Gedeh and Rivergee Counties, which is also a component of the Grebo National Park, without the consent of citizens of the area and state authorities.

The charge sheet further said the defendants were criminally cutting down GarceniaAfzelii trees without the necessary license permits and other instruments of permission.

The charge added said they also failed to pay the needed revenue taxes which are important to the Republic of Liberia’s growth and development.

The BIN charge sheet noted that the defendants have been cutting down trees in the forest since 2010 up to their arrest on May 21, 2015 and transporting them into Ivory Coast and Ghana for their self-aggrandizement before they were arrested.

During preliminary investigation, the defendants admitted and confessed to the allegation, adding that they were hired and sent to Liberia by their bosses whom they named as Chris Adade, Kofi Boateng and Kwesi Philips for the purpose of cutting down the chewing stick and transporting it to Ghana for sale. They said the stick is important to Ghanaians and other Africans. By Comfort M. Johnson-LINA