Authorities say 10 Chinese citizens suspected of illegal gold mining in Ghana are facing firearms charges in court.

Justice Francis Obiri on Monday granted the defendants $12,000 bail each and adjourned the firearms case until a hearing later this month in Accra, capital of this western African nation. Each of the defendants is accused of illegal firearms possession and they pleaded not guilty to the charges through an interpreter.

Authorities say they were tipped off to reports that the Chinese were illegally mining in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Police say a search of their premises prompted the seizure at least nine firearms along with ammunition.

It was not clear what authorities were doing about the alleged gold mining.