Galamsay Queen Back in Court
An Accra High Court would today continue hearing the case involving En Huang aka Aisha Huang – the 31-year-old Chinese lady suspected to be one of Ghana’s most notorious illegal miners (galamseyers).
The court resumes hearing after over two months of adjournment.
At the last court date, it emerged that the supposed Ghanaian husband of Aisha could not be found.
According to Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions, efforts to reach the husband of Aisha since her arrest in May this year, was yet to yield fruits.
The State revealed that the accused has indefinite residence permit as a result of her supposed marriage to the Ghanaian.
Ms. Obuobisa told the court, presided over by Justice Charles Edward Ekow Baiden, that the husband of Aisha, who is in the dock with Gao Jin Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun, 39; Haibin Gao, 26; Zhang and Zhang Pen, 23 – possessed passports of three different countries.
Ms. Obuobisa, reading the facts sheet, said Aisha unleashed her dogs on the Immigration officers to ostensibly avert her arrest.
According to her, the four accused persons named Aisha as the one who engaged them to work on a broken-down machine she had leased to one Auntie Maggie.
According to the charge sheet dated May 23, 2017, all the five had been charged with the offence of “undertaking small-scale mining without authority contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Mining and Minerals Act.”
Aisha has been slapped with a second charge which reads, “Providing Mine Support Services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission.”
She is facing an additional charge of Illegal employment of foreign nationals contrary to Section 24 of the Immigration Act, while the four others face the charge of disobedience of directive given by or under the Immigration Act, 2000.
All of them, speaking through a Ghanaian-Chinese interpreter, have denied the charges preferred against them by the state.
Meanwhile, the State has hinted of calling six witnesses to tighten its case against the accused persons.
Ruben Ransford Aboraborah, Assistant Superintendent of Immigration and the first prosecution witness, led in evidence by Ms. Obuobisa, narrated a series of events leading to the arrest of Gao, Lu, Haibin and Zhang Pen.
The witness, who is at the Enforcement Unit of the Service, stated that he and six colleagues of his set off to the mining site at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, on May 5, this year, based on intelligence his officers in-charge had given him on May 4, 2017.
Mr. Aboraborah said he and his team were able to locate the site, because they heard the sound of excavators and generators at the site.
The immigration officer said he spotted the accused – four men – working at the site and ordered his men to close in on them from different directions and succeed in arresting three, after an initial attempt by the suspected ‘galamseyers’ to escape into a nearby cocoa farm.
He said upon a tip-off by a commercial motor rider, Zhang Pen, who had escaped through the cocoa farm, was also arrested when he was crossing the Offin River.
The Assistant Superintendent of Immigration told the court that he recorded the activities of the persons on the site standing on a heap of dug-out sand at the site.
The said video, which was at the Obuasi office of the Immigration Service, was transferred onto a Compact Disc (CD).
The State has tendered the said recording in evidence in the court.
Earlier, Bernard Owusu Donkor, had complained about the charges preferred against his clients.
He had argued that in as much as the prosecution was mandated by the Constitution to prefer charges against the accused persons, the AG ought to be candid.
Source: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson/thePublisher