On Tuesday, July 19, 2023, during cross-examination by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, in an Accra High Court, illegal mining kingpin En Huang, also known as Aisha Huang, started crying.
In response to the detention of four Chinese nationals—Qi Jin, Gao Jin Cheng, Habin Gao, and Zhang Zhipeng—at Bepotenten in the Ashanti Region, the DPP reportedly questioned the accused about a statement she had made to immigration authorities.
Aisha Huang insisted that these people were in Ghana to fix her damaged excavators, but the prosecution cited other statements in which she is said to have acknowledged inviting them to work for her.
While acknowledging her signature on such declarations, Aisha fiercely rejected the information included in them and sobbed as she insisted that she had not made such remarks throughout the investigation.
Justice Lydia Osei Marfo interrupted in response to Aisha’s emotional outburst and said she disapproved of witnesses sobbing in court.
After the judge’s reprimand, Aisha swiftly collected herself.
Aisha insisted that she had no awareness of the statements’ contents and that she had only signed them under pressure because she was afraid that if she didn’t, she wouldn’t be allowed to leave the police station.
The DPP, however, challenged this assertion by pointing out that at the time of Aisha’s testimony in August 2016, the names of the people she cited in the statement were unknown to the immigration officers, suggesting that she must have given their identities herself.
The DPP further refuted Aisha’s claims that she was neither a suspect or subject to any restraints throughout the investigation, claiming that she had freely chosen to provide the statement.
Additionally, the prosecution provided proof that Aisha’s business, Golden Asia Company Limited, had six excavators on an unauthorised mining site.
A witness for the prosecution corroborated this, but Aisha fiercely rejected it and questioned the veracity of the allegation.
In the course of the cross-examination, Aisha also admitted to using two other names—En Huang and Huang Ruixia—and two false dates of birth—November 7, 1987, and July 7, 1975. She explained that her parents had given her both names and dates of birth, saying that this was a typical practise in China, to justify this.
She also acknowledged to possessing three different passports, each bearing a different name, birthplace, and date of birth. When Aisha returned from Ghana in 2018, one of her passports was revoked, she said. When questioned about her dual identities, Aisha insisted that it was a Chinese cultural custom and advised the DPP to confirm this with the Chinese Embassy.
The DPP questioned Aisha’s claims as the cross-examination went on and made a suggestion that her ownership of two passports might be connected to her engagement in unlawful activities.
The case was continued for additional cross-examination and the introduction of new evidence on July 24.