Court discharges 5 Chinese ‘galamseyers’ … Kingpin Aisha deported

Aisha Huang

Aisha Huang

FIVE Chinese nationals, who are standing trial for allegedly engaging in illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, in the Ashanti Region, have been discharged by an Accra High Court yesterday.

The Minister   of Justice and Attorney-General (A-G), represented by Mrs. Mercy Arthur, a Senior State attorney, has filed nolle prosecui to discontinue the case.

Consequently, Justice Charles Ekow Baiden, who presided over the court, has discharged the accused, and ordered the immediate release of Gao Jin Cheng, one of the accused, from Nsawam Prisons.

En Huang, also known as Aisha Huan, Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun  Habin Gao, and Zhang Pen, all  pleaded not guilty to breaching mining regulations in Ghana.

Meanwhile, Huang, had been deported to China en route Ethiopian Airlines.

Reports indicated that her visa application had been forged.

The accused were arraigned on May 9, 2017 for engaging in illegal small-scale mining at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.

They were granted GH¢500,000 bail with two sureties each who must be Ghanaians.

The Chinese nationals were represented in court by Nkrabea Effah Darteh.

Aisha, the alleged kingpin, was charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).

She was also charged for the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

Aisha’s compatriots were charged with disobedience of directives given by or under the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

According to the prosecution, Aisha had a mining concession at Bepotenten and also operated a mining support services company.

Prosecution said that Jin Cheng, Qi Jun, Gao, and Pen were employed by Aisha to work at the mining site.

The state invited eight witnesses to testify against the accused.

The prosecution told the court checks at the Minerals Commission, however, revealed that Aisha had no licence to operate either a mine or a mining support services company.

They also contended that the visas issued to all the five Chinese by the Ghana Embassy in Beijing, China, did not allow them to work in Ghana.

It is recalled that the Inter-Ministerial Task Force confiscated six excavators and arrested two persons on December 5, 2018 in the Ashanti Region, following the ban on illegal mining.

According to the Task Force, the seized equipment belonged to En Huan.

Two leaders of the Task Force, Muniru Ahmed and Warrant Officer (WO) Isaac Nyarko expressed shock at the impunity with which the Chinese nationals defied a mining ban by the government.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

 

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