Police inspecting the vehicles
Six truckloads of illegal lumber being transported to Burkina Faso through unapproved routes have been intercepted by the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremey.
The six DAF and MAN Diesel trucks were loaded with the illegal lumber at Deaba in the Asunafo South District of the Brong Ahafo Region.
Instead of the drivers using the Goaso-Sunyani Wenchi Road to Wenchi-Wa Road, they decided to drive through Dormaa-Sampa-Nsawkaw to Banda Ahenkro Road to evade security agencies and join Wenchi-Wa Highway to Burkina Faso at Tinga Junction.
However, luck eluded them when the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), led by the Regional Minister, met the truck drivers after returning from a fact-finding mission to Banda Ahenkro where the indigenes threatened to kill non-resident workers.
The six drivers and the trucks were handed over to the Regional Forestry Commission for further investigations.
Briefing the media, Lawyer Kwaku Asomah-Cheremey, said members of REGSEC saw the trucks and became suspicious of their movement.
They told the minister that the lumber belong to a Burkinabe contractor and that each consignment was worth GH¢34,000.
However, invoice covering the consignment showed GH¢2,400 for each truck.
Mr. Asoamah-Cheremey bemoaned the rapid destruction of the forest cover in the region by illegal chainsaw operators and promised to address the problems by setting up a special taskforce in his office to control illegal chainsaw activities in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Members, he said, would comprise the Forestry Commission and the security agencies.
Assembly Member for Kabonu Banda Ahenkro Electoral Area, Mohammed Saliho, said “not less than 10 vehicles pass through this area each day in the last two years, and even on Thursday more than six vehicles passed before the minister intervened.
The impounded trucks had registration numbers- AW 5459-11, PS 422-W, 32HL 4431, 11 H2768 and GT 4279-V.
Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwame Techi-Poku, ordered that the trucks be transferred to the offices of the Forestry Commission in Sunyani to ensure thorough investigations.
From Daniel Y Dayee, Banda Ahenkro