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Are Chinese nationals above the laws of Ghana?

botchway July 4, 2019

The Daily Graphic reported yesterday that Huang Yanfeng, aka Helena Huang, the Chinese woman standing trial for allegedly transporting a large quantity of rosewood to Tema for export to China illegally, has been deported.

According to the paper, officials of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), who made this known to it, said Huang was deported for engaging in illicit business while in the country, and subsequently revoked her resident permit.

The paper went further to quote a notice signed by the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Kwame Esuah Takyi, that informed Huang of the decision. The said notice reads: “You are hereby informed that your permit to remain in Ghana has been revoked. Therefore, your continuous presence in Ghana is unlawful. The Comptroller-General of Immigration, acting in accordance with Section 21 of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573), has ordered that you be repatriated from Ghana to your home country, China.”

According to the state-owned newspaper, the lady has subsequently been deported from the country, and that she left the shores of Ghana last month. Deportation is a normal practice countries all over the world use to enforce their immigration rules. The deportation of the Chinese Lady should, under the normal circumstances, not raise any eyebrows. Nevertheless, The Chronicle is not happy with this particular deportation, because of the crime the deportee committed whilst she was in the country.

Huang jumped bail about eight weeks ago, after she had been granted police enquiry bail for allegedly trying to export two containers of the banned rosewood to her country of origin, China. Because her whereabouts were not known, a Ghanaian who stood surety for her was arrested and ordered by court to produce the suspect.

Weeks later, the suspect emerged from her hideout and surrendered to the police. Within a spate of one week, she had been deported by immigration, thus avoiding trial under our laws for the crime that she allegedly committed.

This unfortunate development ought not to have happened. Indeed, The Chronicle can recall the case of Aisha Huang, the illegal mining kingpin who was similarly facing trial for the havoc she had wrecked on our environment, but was deported under controversial circumstances.

Unless Ghana has a surrender treaty with China, we find it very difficult to fathom why Chinese nationals break our laws, but we allow them to go scot free.

Ghana exonerated herself from the colonial yoke many years ago. In fact, we are now a sovereign state with the power to determine our own affairs, but it appears we are being intimidated by China to easily compromise on our sovereignty, and dancing to its tunes because of its economic power, and the fact that we have been borrowing from the world power.

We do not have the statistics, but we are sure many Ghanaians are languishing in Chinese jails for crimes they have committed against the communist state.

The Chronicle does not foresee a situation where the Chinese authorities will deport, without prosecution, a Ghanaian who had destroyed their vegetation cover, and also severely polluted water bodies that are sources of drinking water for the millions of their people.

Similarly, we do not see now or in the future, a situation where China will just deport a Ghanaian who is cutting down the trees in its forests, which consequences could result in desertification. Never, it will never happen, but because we are Africans, and, therefore, seen as poor people, the Chinese will come to our country and commit crimes without any punishment.

Many Ghanaians are currently serving various prison terms for stealing a fowl or bunch of plantains among other trivial crimes, but a foreigner has come to our country to destroy our water bodies and environment, and we, as a sovereign state, think the only punishment we can give them is deportation.

If this is the story being told to Ghanaians, then The Chronicle suggests to the authorities to stop trying the suspected Nigeria kidnappers and deport them to their country. The action of the government in the cases of Aisha Huang and Huang Yanfeng has set a bad precedent, and if care is not taken, foreigners will show complete contempt for our laws, because they know that at the end of the day, the only punishment they would receive is deportation.

The Chronicle is not oblivious of the role China is playing in our economic development, but the gospel truth is that the Chinese government is not Father Christmas – whatever they are giving or have given to us is an investment that will inure to their benefit in future.

We must, therefore, stop always dancing to their tunes and punish their nationals who breach our laws.

We rest our case!

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