Chinese ‘galamsey’ kingpin case: A-G adds more charges

Immigration Officer(left) escourting the suspect out of the court room. Photo Vicent Dzatse

Immigration Officer(left) escourting the suspect out of the court room. Photo Vicent Dzatse

The Attorney-General’s (A-G) Department yesterday added new facts and charges against En Huang, the Chinese alleged illegal mining (galamsey) kingpin, and four others, standing trial for breaching immigration laws.

Mrs. Mercy Arthur, a senior state attorney, told the Accra High Court Criminal Division (four) that the first accused, Huang, also known as Aisha, Gao Jin Cheng Lu Qi Ju, Haibin Gao and Zhang Zhipeng also violated Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703.

The accused have been remanded in prison custody.

Other charges preferred against them were providing mine and support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, illegal employment of foreigners and disobedience of the Immigration Act 2000.

Presiding Judge, Charles Ekow Biden, remanded the accused in prison custody for the second time on May 9 at the instance of the prosecution, who demanded additional time to conduct further investigations.

The State Attorney said Huang undertook small-scale mining at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region, without valid registration from the Minerals Commission.

She said Huang engaged compatriots Cheng, Ju, Gao and Zhipeng whose visas did not permit them to work in Ghana.

Mrs. Arthur opposed application for bail by the accused, and reminded the court that she could substitute the previous charges with a new one by oral submission.

Counsel for the accused, Jerry Akwetey, said the decision to add new facts was an afterthought, and said the attorney ought to know that substitution and addition were distinct.

Akwetey argued that not only was the offence of the accused  bailable, but said  per the immigration law, the accused were required to pay a fine of GH¢100.00 seven days after their arrest, failing which they would pay 500 penalty units or GH¢6,000.

He said the first accused had a medical condition that demanded urgent attention adding that had the accused pleaded guilty to the charges, they would not face custodial sentence.

He said it was the duty of the state to ensure that fundamental human rights of individuals were protected much as it had the right to remand the accused.

The case has been adjourned to June 2 for ruling on the bail application.

By Malik Sullemana

 

 

 

 

 

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