Aisha Huang: State files fresh charges against Chinese ‘galamsey’ queen, accused in prison custody

Aisha Huang

The State has filed fresh charges against En (Aisha) Huang, in respect of mining offenses she committed in Ghana between the years 2015 and 2017.

Aisha Huang was put before the Criminal Division of the High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Marfo, on Friday 16 September 2022 at a virtual court sitting.

Her lawyers repeated their bail application during the High Court sitting but the court denied the application, remanded the accused person into prison custody and adjourned sitting to the 11 October 2022.

New charges

Aisha Huang, has been charged with four counts. First is “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.

Second, “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.

Third, “illegal employment of foreign nationals contrary to section 24 of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) and lastly, entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry contrary to section 20(4) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573.

Earlier hearing

Huang Ruixia alias Aisha Huang, was on 14 September 2022, denied bail by an Accra Circuit Court in a separate case where she has been charged with the offence of engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without a licence with three other Chinese nationals, Jong Li Hua, Huang Jei, and Huiad Hiahun.
Defence lawyer, Nkrabea Effah-Dartey, during proceedings in court on 14 September, prayed the court to grant the accused persons bail for fear of being mistreated by security officers but the court denied the application choosing to remand the accused persons into police custody to reappear on 27 September 2022.

Facts of the Case

The facts are that on the 5th of May 2017 at about 12:00 pm, Officers of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Obuasi Municipal Command, arrested four male Chinese nationals namely Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun, Haibin Gao and Zhang Zhipeng who were actively mining at an illegal mining site at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District of Ashanti Region.

Upon their arrest, the four Chinese nationals told the arresting officers that they were sent to mine at the site by the accused person herein and their passports were with her in Kumasi. The arresting officers sent the four arrested persons first to the Obuasi Office of GIS and subsequently to their Kumasi Office.

En Huang who had received information about the arrest of her Chinese employees, proceeded to the Kumasi Regional Immigration Office to find out if they had been brought there even before the arresting officers arrived in Kumasi. She left upon realizing they had not yet been brought to the Kumasi Office.

The Kumasi Regional Immigration Office called Aisha to report to the Office with the passports of the four arrested miners. With great difficulty, En Huang eventually produced the passports of only Haibin Gao and Zhang Zhipeng.

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 Ghana. They were however engaged by En Huang to undertake mining operations without the requisite licence at Bepotenten.

Investigations disclosed that En Huang took over the farms of several farmers by mining around their farms and destroying access routes to the farms till they eventually gave over their farms to her for mining purposes. She had, in the process mining, destroyed their cash crops, sources of drinking water and livelihoods.

She was before put before the High Court, Accra on 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. On 19th December 2018, the Attorney-General entered nolle prosequi and terminated the trial. The same day, the Comptroller General of Ghana Immigration Service revoked her permit to remain in Ghana indefinitely, ordered her immediate repatriation, and directed her to stay out of Ghana until the Comptroller-General approved her future re-entry into Ghana.

Consequently, she was put on Ethiopian Airlines Flight No, Et 920, which took off at about 12:50 pm on 19th December 2018 to Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, enroute to Guangzhou-China. She sat on 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 her arrival at her final destination, Guangzhou China.

Contrary to the direction of the Comptroller-General issued under section 20 (2) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573, State Security Agents received information that she had re-entered Ghana and she was subsequently arrested on 2nd September 2022 in Kumasi. This re-entry was in total defiance of the clear order of the Comptroller-General of 19th December 2018.

Upon her arrest, En Huang had in her possession two Chinese passports, one in the name En Huang and another in the name Huan Ruixia both of which had her photographs.


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