Galamsey queen deported

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Aisha Huang, the Chinese woman who was arraigned before court for allegedly engaging in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region, was deported by the Ghana Immigration Service yesterday.

She was deported after the Attorney General entered ‘Nolle Prosequi’ to discontinue the case against her and four others who were accused of engaging in illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey.’

As at the time of filing this story, Aisha Huang, who was popularly known as ‘Galamsey Queen,’ was on board an Ethiopia aircraft to China.

Sources told the paper that the state decided to discontinue the case against Aisha and four others because the Interior Ministry had made arrangements to deport them.

Meanwhile, the four accused persons have all been discharged by an Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Charles Ekow Baiden.

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DAILY GUIDE’s sources say the relevant institutions are finalizing plans to deport Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun, Habin Gao and Zhang Pen in the next few days.

The deportation of the five is not surprising because they were living in the country illegally following the expiration of their visas.

Nolle Prosequi

The Attorney General, Gloria Afua Akuffo, yesterday entered Nolle Prosequi to discontinue the case pursuant to Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Act 30 of 1960.

Mercy Arthur, a chief state attorney, told the Accra High Court that the state does not intend to continue with the case.

No particular reason was given by the state for discontinuing the case which has attracted attention both locally and internationally.

Justice Ekow Baiden also made a consequential order for the immediate release of Gao Jin Cheng, who was remanded into custody by the court after he attempted to flee the country to avoid trial.

Their lawyer, Capt Nkrabeah Effah Dartey (Rtd) expressed shock at the decision of the state.

He wondered whether the decision was a ploy by the state to curtail the liberties of the accused persons or re-arrest them after they were discharged by the court.

Arrest

Aisha Huang and her four accomplices were arrested on May 4, 2017 in the Ashanti Region after they allegedly engaged in illegal mining.

The accused persons reportedly worked as illegal miners (galamseyers) at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.

At the time of their arrest, ‘galamsey’ had been banned by the government, through the then Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu.

The five were initially facing charges under the Ghana Immigration laws but the charge sheet was substituted in July 2017.

Trial

Aisha Huang and her accomplices have been on trial since May last year for flouting the country’s mining and immigration laws.

She was granted bail by the court in June 2017 in the sum of GH¢500,000, with two sureties to be justified.

The four others were also granted bail in the sum of GH?500,000, with one surety who must be a Ghanaian by birth.

Witnesses

The state had called eight witnesses who all testified against the four who were accused of providing mining support service without a valid licence from the Minerals Commission.

The case investigator, ASP Charles Adaba, who is the last prosecution witness, was still in the witness box when the state decided to stop the case.

During one of the proceedings, it was established that Aisha used fraudulent details of her alleged Ghanaian husband to secure resident and wok permits in the country.

Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Divine Ahumah Occansey, a prosecution witness, told the court that the suspect used the details of one Anthony Fabian, whom she claimed to be her Ghanaian husband, to get both a dependent and indefinite permit.

He also told the court that the Galamsey Queen’s accomplices were living in Ghana illegally following the expiration of their visas.

He stated that all the four accomplices were not granted work permit by the state.

Led in his evidence-in-chief by Mercy Arthur, a chief state attorney, the witness told the court that although Aisha Huang informed the immigration officers that she invited Habin Gao and Zhang Pen into the country to work on her excavators, information gathered by GIS proved otherwise.

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