A teenager has drowned and another missing in the Offin River after they allegedly dived into the river in an attempt to escape Forestry Officials chasing illegal miners at Anwiafutu in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti region.
Illegal miners have invaded portions of the Apenkra forest in the district.
The body of the deceased identified as Kwabena Anane has since been retrieved whilst a search continues for Atta Derrick, 18.
According to residents, young men in the community have often entered the Apenkra Forest to dig a reclaimed mining site in search of gold.
In the process, they have destroyed some trees planted by the Forestry Commission to restore degraded vegetative cover.
Lack eluded five of them on the day when they were met by a patrol team of the Forestry Commission at the site.
A chase ensued, following which one of the suspects was arrested by the officials.
The body of the deceased had several cuts. There are allegations the officers on patrol stoned them while they were in the pit to prevent them from swimming out.
“Since there are some gold deposits here the youth come here to dig. They gather the leftovers and wash. Yesterday, the forest guards came after them and two attempted to fall into the water to escape. We hear the two were pelted with stones by the guards while they were in the river so the retrieved body has cuts all over”, a resident explained.
Residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the work of the forestry officials.
They want them to go after the miners who are destroying the forest with heavy duty equipment.
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