The Begoro District branch of the Forestry Commission in the Eastern region has arrested three illegal chainsaw operators harvesting economic trees in the Akwadum Portion of the Atiwa Forest reserve.
The suspects are Kwaku Adu, a chainsaw operator, David Oppong and Richard Odoi .
The suspects were arrested by the rapid response team and Rangers at the Begoro Forestry office having gotten wind of their operation.
The suspects have been transferred from the Begoro District Police to the Eastern Regional Police Headquarters.
Speaking to Starr News, the Begoro District Forestry Manager Kwame Oteng Awuah noted that the incidents of illegal lumbering has risen recently in the area following the government clampdown on illegal gold mining.
He said the frustrated illegal miners are diversifying into illegal logging in the Forest Reserve posing danger to the forest.
However, according to the Begoro District Manager, the commission has intensified surveillance and monitoring to tackle the new threat to the forest reserve hence two Patrol teams have been constituted to patrol the area to clampdown on the perpetrators.
Mr. Oteng Awuah noted that the ecosystem and biodiversity significance of the Atewa Forest reserve are being destroyed while the natural resources in the forest are dwindling hence the immediate need for all to to protect the forest.
The district Forest Manager therefore appealed to the media and other stakeholders to join the Forestry Commission to protect the Atiwa forest reserve .
He expressed optimism that the Police will expedite action and arraigned the suspects before court for prosecution to serve as deterrent to others.