The Asante Mampong police are investigating circumstances under which over 8,000 seedlings of different tree species were dumped at a public refuse site at nearby Bossofuor.
It followed a complaint lodged by officials of the Forestry Commission.
The Forestry Commission is collaborating with the police to get to the bottom of the matter.
The attention of a monitoring team of the Forestry Commission at the Asante Mampong District was drawn to the operations of a KIA truck in the Offin Headworks Forest on July 28, 2022.
The team suspected that the truck could be used by illegal loggers. They therefore decided to track the truck. The team was shocked to find tree seedlings dumped in a refuse dump.
The 8,011 seedlings, valued at GHC12,000, included Ofram, Mahogany and teak.
Elvis Merru Tizza, a Principal Resource Guard, who led the team explained how the driver of the KIA truck escaped arrest.
“This is a YEA Plantation site. We came here for an activity when we saw a KIA truck moving out of this site.
We thought may be, they came to do illegal logging or something here.
“So, we were chasing the KIA truck to see what was inside it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the KIA truck so we came back and traced to the site where we saw that the seedlings were dumped on the ground.”
The Forestry Commission, after sorting the seedlings, retrieved 5,891 live seedlings which have since been planted.
The Asante Mampong police say they are following some vital leads that could lead to the arrest of culprits.
Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey who visited Mampong on Tuesday, says his outfit is collaborating with the police to thoroughly investigate the matter.
“It was the Asante Mampong District Forestry Manager who reported the incident to police. It’s not as if someone found them and reported it.”
“But we will wait for the police to finish their investigations,” Mr. Allotey added.
He says it is too early to assume the dumped seedlings were meant for the Green Ghana Programme.
“Seedlings could come from two sources; they could be seedings that form part of Green Ghana. They could also be part of private nurseries that have raised seedlings hoping to sell to the Forestry Commission for Green Ghana activities and probably they were not able to sell.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Allotey has been inspecting some trees planted last year under the Green Ghana Programme.
They include Acacia, Ofram, Teak and other indigenous species.