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“Galamsey Queen” Aisha Huang Convicted for Re-entering Ghana Illegally

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Chinese national and notorious “Galamsey Queen” Aisha Huang has been convicted by an Accra High Court for re-entering Ghana illegally, following her deportation in December 2018. Huang was charged with “entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry,” to which she initially pleaded not guilty. However, as part of a plea bargaining agreement with the Office of the Attorney General, Huang changed her plea to guilty and was subsequently convicted. The court deferred her sentencing until the end of her trial, in which she is facing charges for small-scale illegal mining activities in the Ashanti Region.

The Office of the Attorney General closed its case in the trial regarding the other charges after calling 11 witnesses to prove its case. The prosecution, led by the Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, called immigration officers, police officers, farmers, and a sub-chief as witnesses. The farmers testified that they sold their farmlands to Huang, who destroyed them through illegal mining. The prosecution’s third witness, Nana Sarfo Prempeh, said Huang caused “wholesale damages” to farmers whose farms were destroyed as a result of her illegal mining activities. He also stated that Huang’s illegal mining activities deprived residents of Bepotenten access to clean drinking water.

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The Assemblyman for Bepotenten Electoral Area, Mathew Kwabla Abotsi, testified that he saw Huang at a mining site taking place on a footpath residents used to their farms. He followed up on a complaint about her encroaching on the footpath. ASP Charles Adaba (rtd), one of the investigators in the matter, also told the court that Huang had no permit to mine or undertake any mining support services in Ghana. “The response from the Minerals Commission established that the accused person’s company did not have any licence or authorisation from the Minerals Commission to undertake any small-scale mining operation or to even render mine support service to any person or group,” the retired officer said.

For the most part, the prosecution’s case appears to be strong, with several witnesses testifying about the destruction caused by Huang’s illegal mining activities. Huang’s guilty plea for re-entering Ghana illegally is likely to have repercussions on her ongoing trial for illegal mining activities. The court’s decision to defer her sentencing until the end of her trial indicates that her punishment for illegally entering Ghana will be considered along with the other charges against her. The case serves as a reminder that illegal mining activities have severe consequences and that those who engage in them will face legal repercussions.

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