Aisha Huang Jailed 4 Years, Fined 48,000 Cedis For Mining Offences

Aisha Huang, known as the ‘Galamsey Queen,’ has been found guilty of all charges brought against her by the state.

The Accra High Court handed down a four-year prison term to her on Monday, December 4, asaaseradio.com reports

Aisha Huang, standing trial for illegal mining operations without a license, facilitating unlawful participation in mining, and re-entering Ghana post-deportation, had consistently denied the charges and remained in prison custody.

Amid the sentencing, Aisha Huang’s legal team advocated for a fine and deportation, considering her year-long incarceration during the trial.

The state’s case, represented by security and intelligence officers, accused Aisha Huang of gaining “notoriety” for engaging in illegal small-scale mining activities, known as ‘galamsey,’ across the country.

According to the prosecution, Aisha had previously evaded arrest in 2017, by leaving the country but allegedly resumed illegal mining upon her unauthorised return.

Aisha Huang faced four charges, including undertaking mining operations without a license, facilitating unlawful participation in mining, employing foreign nationals illegally, and entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry.
Charges

The first charge against Aisha En Huang, was “undertaking a mining operation without a licence contrary to section 99(2)(a) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2019, Act 995”.

The state’s argument in respect of the first charge was that “on or before February 2015 and May 2017”, [Aisha Huang] without a licence from the Minister responsible for Mines”, she “undertook mining operations at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region”.

The second charge, “facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation contrary to section 99 (2)(a) & (3) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, (2019), Act 995”.

On this charge, the state contended that En Huang Aisha, a Chinese, between February 2015 and May 2017, facilitated the participation of Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun, Haibin Gao and Zhang Zhipeng in mining operations without a licence from the Minister responsible for Mines to conduct the mining operations at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region.

The third count according to the charge sheet was “illegal employment of foreign nationals contrary to section 24 of the Immigration Act, (2000), Act 573”.

The state contends that En Huang Aisha, in May 2017, illegally employed four Chinese nationals, namely Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun, Haibin Gao and Zhang Zhipeng to work at an illegal mining site in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region.

The last charge is “entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry contrary to section 20(4) of the Immigration Act, (2000), Act 573”, with the state contending that on 2nd September 2022, En Huang Aisha, was arrested in Kumasi and found to have re-entered Ghana when she knew she had been barred from entering Ghana.

Background

En Huang was accused of being involved in galamsey, particularly in the Ashanti Region.

In 2018, she was deported from the country after the Attorney General decided to discontinue her trial, where she faced accusations of engaging in small-scale mining without a license.

Despite her deportation, it was reported that she returned to the country clandestinely to allegedly resume the same activities that led to her deportation.

In October 2022, the Attorney General decided to prosecute her for the alleged crimes committed before her deportation and new ones since her re-entry into the country.

The prosecution claimed that Aisha had an illegal mining concession at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region and also operated a mining support services company.

Initially pleading not guilty to charges such as undertaking mining operations without a license, facilitating the participation of individuals in mining operations, illegal employment of foreigners, and entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry, Aisha changed her plea on May 3 of the same year.

She pleaded guilty to entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry, as per section 20(4) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573. This change in plea occurred after she entered into a Plea Bargaining agreement with the State (Office of the Attorney General)

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