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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Source: Class FM

Chinese woman busted for illegal rosewood logging

Police in the Northern Region has arrested a Chinese woman, Helena Huang, 43, for illegally transporting rosewood from the area.

Briefing Journalists in Tamale, the Northern Regional Police Crime Officer, Superintendent Otuo Acheampong said police officers at the Vittin Barrier intercepted two trucks loaded with four containers of rosewood.

He said the exhibits have since been escorted to the police headquarters in Tamale. He indicated that the suspect, Helena Huang claims ownership of the items.

Mr Acheampong said preliminary investigations has established the Chinese national has no log measurement and conveyance certificate as well as lumber inspection certificate.

Additionally, he stated that as at the time of arrest, Ms Huang neither could produce her passport nor resident and working permit.

This, the suspect has refuted and claims she has but cannot readily produce. She insisted the documents will be provided to police soon.

However, the Crime Officer further noted that police checks with the Ghana Immigration Service indicates otherwise.

Mr Acheampong said the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in March 2019 banned the transportation, conveyance and exportation of rosewood in the country.

Meanwhile, there was drama at the police regional headquarters when Ms Huang alleged that the police demanded GHS200 at the checkpoint to set her free but failed to mention whether or not, she obliged to demand.

In sharp rebuttal, however, the Public Relations Officer of the police, DSP Yussif Tanko said so far as the police is concern, the officers have done a very good job.

He stated that the Regional Command issued an instruction and a clear directive to all officers at the checkpoints and on patrol to apprehend any culprit found to be perpetuating any illegality.

Mr Tanko said the allegation of bribery would be investigated to establish the truth of the matter.