I‘ve no personal information on Ashia Huang -AG witness

The Attorney-General’s (A-G) first prosecution witness (PW1), Superintendant Robin Ranford Aborabora, says he has no personal information on En Huang aka Ashia Huang, a Chinese national accused of engaging in illegal mining.

The prosecution said this while being crossed-examined by the counsel of Ashia Huang, Captain Nkrabeah Effah Dartey (rtd), at the Criminal Divisional ‘5’ of the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, yesterday.

The PW1 was responding to the question: “You (witness), as an immigration officer, even with your compact disc video coverage, you have no personal independent information verified by you against the accused (Ashia Huang).”

The witness also disclosed to the court that the first time he saw En Huang was when the latter was invited by the Kumasi Enforcement Unit of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) after they had arrested four Chinese nationals at Bepotenten to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region engaged in illegal mining.

He testified that one of the Chinese nationals, by name Gao Jin Cheng, who informed the arresting officers that they were mining at Bepotenten at the behest of one Ashia Huang who was in possession of their passports in Kumasi.

The cross-examination follows the evidence-in-chief of the witness led by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa.

The witness tendered his witness statement, which was read to the hearing of the court, as well as a pen drive that contained pictures and videos that he took at the Bepotenten illegal mining (galamsey) site.

He said they found six excavators, a sand washing machine, generators and a wooden structure housing some equipment and miners at Bepotenten.

Q. Superintendant Aborabora, can you tell my lord the very first day you set eyes on the accused person?

A. My Lord, the very first day I set my sees on En Huang was when she was invited by the Head of Enforcement of Ghana Immigration Service, Kumasi, after we sent the four Chinese nationals we arrested at Bepotenten to Kumasi.

Q. In other words, on the day that you carried out your operation the accused person was nowhere near Bepotenten, correct?

A. Yes.
Q. And, according to you, when you first met her was in Kumasi, correct?
A. Yes, at the immigration office.
Q. You testified against her in a trial in 2017. Correct?
A. Yes.

Q. But, Mr. Aborabora, you have no direct personal information or evidence against the accused person for mining illegally?

A. It was one guy, Gao Jin Cheng, one of the Chinese I arrested with my men who said they were at Bepotenten mining for one Ashia Huang, and that all their passports were with her in Kumasi.

Q. So Mr. Aborabora, if Gao Jin Cheng gave you wrong information then your source is wrong?
A. Yes. I only reported on what Gao Jin Cheng told me, and I forwarded [the] same in my report that day to the Kumasi Enforcement Unit for further investigation.

Q. Mr. Aborabora, how long were you based in Obuasi?
A. Six years.
Q. You were familiar with miming operations in the Bepotenten area, right?
A. Yes.

Q. You and your men carried out regular operations, correct?
A. Not exactly my lord. We go as and when my officer in charge directs.
Q. Are you aware that some of your men were constantly being compromised?
A. No.

Q. Mr. Aborabora, you, as an immigration officer, even with your compact disc video coverage, you have no personal independent information verified by you against the accused?

A. No. I have no personal information.
Bail refusal
The court, for the fourth time, has denied Ashia Huang bail, despite several appeals by her counsel.

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 Chinese nationals 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 that the suspects were yet to be brought to the GIS Kumasi office, 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 disclosed 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 survival.

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 into Ghana.

Furthermore, Aisha was put on an Ethiopian Airline flight No Et920, which took off at about 12:50 pm 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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