Chinese ‘galamsey queen’ Aisha Huang deported
Chinese national ‘Aisha’ Huang, described as a ‘galamsey queen’ in Ghana, has been deported by government.
Citi News sources say she was deported via an Ethiopian Airline today, Wednesday, shortly after state prosecutors discontinued the trial against her and four other Chinese nationals for engaging in illegal mining activities in the country.
It is unclear yet whether the four other Chinese nationals have also been deported.
The State Attorney, Mercy Arthur, who presented the application for nolle prosequi to the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Charles Ekow Baiden on Wednesday, did not give a reason for the discontinuation of the case.
Based on the application, the court discharged the five accused persons. The judge had previously complained about how the case was being delayed.
Justice Baiden told the prosecution and defence that he wanted to deal with the case before the end of the legal year.
Aisha and her compatriots were first arraigned on May 9, 2018 for engaging in illegal small-scale mining at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region.
Aisha Huang 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); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
It was also alleged that she had granted sexual favours to some top officials and continues to enjoy their support due to threats of blackmail if they attempt to expose her.
It is believed that she is very influential and wields a lot of power due to the backing she receives from some high-profile state officers, including top security personnel.
The other four accused persons 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.
The prosecution also argued that the visas issued to all the five Chinese by the Ghana Embassy in Beijing, China, did not allow them to work in Ghana.
16 armed illegal Chinese miners arrested in Krobo forest
Many Chinese nationals engaged in illegal mining in the country, and despite several arrests and deportations, they keep trooping into the country, as Ghana’s law enforcement appear not to be deterrent enough.
Although the small-scale mining sector strictly prohibits expatriate involvement, the Chinese have blatantly flouted this regulation, and are often fronted by Ghanaians to carry out their illegal activities.
In the month of December even before government lifted the ban on all forms of small-scale mining, the Excavator Evacuation Team, a unit under the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining arrested 16 Chinese illegal miners.
This operation was carried out in the Krobo Forest in the Eastern Region.
The 16 arrested Chinese have since been handed over to the Obuasi Police. Some Ghanaian accomplices were also captured in the raid.
Ghana in recent times has taken her relations with China to another level, entering into several bilateral agreements, with the latest one being the expected $2 billion support for infrastructure development in exchange for Ghana’s bauxite.
For many analysts, such benefits from China appears to be affecting the government’s ability to crack the whip effectively on Chinese nationals destroying Ghana’s environment, forest reserves and water bodies through illegal mining.