The Savannah Regional Police Command is investigating two trucks impounded for illegally transporting rosewood.
The two trucks were impounded in Damongo, the Savannah Regional capital, on Monday, June 28, 2021.
Despite the government’s ban on the harvesting and importation of rosewood from 2018, some persons continue to engage in the activity illegally.
The impounded wood and trucks were parked at the offices of the Forestry Commission in the region, and the two drivers and other occupants of the trucks are also in the grips of the police waiting to be arraigned.
In an interview with Citi News, the Public Relations Officer of the Savannah Regional Command, Inspector Adjekum Owusu, stated that per law, the confiscated goods will be handed over to the traditional leaders in the Savannah Region.
“They were given until the end of May to evacuate all their stuff from the Savannah Region. So, since the grace period elapsed, if you are found carrying charcoal or logs in commercial quantity, the order was that it is going to be confiscated and given to the Chiefs and the people to sell, and whatever amount is realised from the sale, it is given to the Regional House of Chiefs for developmental projects. So that is how come the two trucks were arrested, and have been impounded at the regional police headquarters for further action to be taken.”
He also added that the command is working with the traditional authorities to enforce the ban.
Meanwhile, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, who earlier spoke on the Rosewood trade, reiterated the government’s commitment to enforcing the ban on rosewood felling and exportation.
“Across the northern part of our country, the Forestry Commission and its guards and its enforcement regime are actively policing the activities of those who harvest this wood and export them and so on and so forth.”
“We have got into partnership with the chiefs as far as the enforcement is concerned and that is really helping,” the Minister said.
The ban on rosewood harvesting in Ghana first came into force in 2014.
The government cited the abuse of permits granted some loggers to harvest rosewood in the catchment area of the Bui dam as the reason for the imposition of the ban.
The ban was lifted in 2017, with the Minister in charge at that time, John Peter Amewu, giving over 20 companies permission to fell the trees.
But in March 2019, the trade was banned again, following alleged corruption and illegal trade of the resource.