Aisha Huang pleads guilty for re-entering Ghana

Aisha Huang, a Chinese national on trial for allegedly engaging in illegal mining (galamsey) activities, has told an Accra High Court that she was guilty for re-entering Ghana at a time she had been prohibited.

This follows Aisha Huang, also known as En Huang, changing her plea from not guilty on count four – entering Ghana prohibited from re-entry – of the charges levelled against her.

The sentence of Aisha Huang had been deferred by the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, till the end of the trial.

However, she maintains her former plea of not guilty on facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation, illegal employment of foreign nationals, and undertaking a mining operation without a license.

The prosecution has also closed its case and ordered the defence to file its submission of no case to answer by May 16, and the prosecution was to respond to it on May 24. Hearing would continue on May 25.

On May 5, 2017, at about 12:00pm, officers of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Obuasi Municipal Command, arrested four male Chinese nationals, namely Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun, Haibin Gao and Zhang Ziupeng, who were actively engaged in an illegal mining site at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region.

Upon their arrest, the four told the arresting officers that they were sent to mine at the site by Aisha Huang, and that their passports were with her in Kumasi.

The arresting officers sent the four persons, first to the Obuasi office of the GIS and subsequently to the Kumasi office.

Aisha Huang, upon receiving the information about the arrest of her alleged Chinese employees, proceeded to the Regional Immigration office in Kumasi, even before the arresting officers reached the Ashanti Regional capital.

After a while, Aisha left upon realising information that the suspects were yet to be brought to the GIS Kumasi office, but was later called back to report with the alleged miners’ passports.

With great difficulty, En Huang eventually produced the passports of only Haibin Gao and Zhang Zhupeng.

The visas of these two arrested persons showed that they came to Ghana on B-1 visas (business visas), which did not qualify them to be engaged in any type of work in the country.

They were, however, engaged by En Huang to undertake mining operations without the requisite licences at Bepotenten.

Investigations revealed that En Huang took possession of several farmlands for mining, and eventually destroyed crops, sources of drinking water, and access routes to these farms, as well as the livelihoods of those depending on these for their livelihoods.

Madam Arthur said Aisha was earlier arraigned before the Accra High Court on related charges of illegally undertaking a small-scale mining operation, contrary to section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703, and illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to sections 24 and 52 (1) (d) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573.

However, she said, on December 19, 2018, the Attorney-General entered nolle prosequi and terminated the trial, and on the same day the Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service revoked her permit to remain in the country indefinitely, ordered her immediate repatriation to China, and directed her to stay out of Ghana until the Comptroller-General approved of her future re-entry.

Furthermore, Aisha was put on an Ethiopian Airline flight No Et920, which took off at about 12:50pm on December 17, 2018, to Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, en route to Guangzhou, China.

The court was told that her flight seat No 32 F (Economy Class) and her travel documents were handed over to the Captain of the flight to be handed over to her upon arrival at her final destination, Guangzhou, China.

But, contrary to the directive issued by the Comptroller-General under section 20 (2) in the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573, State Security agents received the information that she had re-entered Ghana and was subsequently arrested on September 2, 2022, in Kumasi.

The court was further informed that this re-entry was in total defiance of the clear order of the Comptroller-General of 19 December, 2018.

Upon her arrest, En Huang had in her possession two Chinese passports, one in the name of En Huang and the other in the name of Huan Ruixia, both of which had her photographs.


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