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General News of Saturday, 21 September 2019

Source: Ghanaweb.com

FLASHBACK: Jailing Aisha Huang in Ghana wasn’t important; won’t give us cash - Osafo Maafo

Miss En "Aisha" Huang, a Chinese national, on December 18, 2018, was deported via an Ethiopian Airways flight after government said she had been living in Ghana with forged travel documents.

Ms. Huang who was described as "untouchable" on some media pltforms, was charged with undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, (Act 703).

She was also charged with providing mine support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to Section 59 and 99 (2) of the Minerals and Mining Act; and also charged with illegal employment of foreign nationals (in breach of section 24 of the Immigration Act and regulation 18 of the Immigration Regulations).

Her deportation meant the state discontinued the trial against her.

Justifying why the state had to deport the Chinese national, the Senior Minister, addressing some concerns of Ghanaians in the diaspora at a town hall meeting on April 18, 2019, revealed that, “Putting [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy.”

“We have a very good relationship with China. The main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us. So when there are these kinds of arrangements there are other things behind the scenes. There are many other things beyond what we see in these matters and everybody is wide awake. The most important thing is that we established regulations and we are protecting our environment. That is far more important than one Chinese woman who has been deported back to her country," he explained further.

Fast forward to September 20, 2019, president Nana Akufo-Addo, contradicting what his minister said, has confessed his government's decision to deport Miss Huang was a mistake.

“I think the decision to deport Aisha Huang in hindsight was a mistake and that is why that process and procedure is being stopped,” he said at a forum at Princeton University during his visit to the United States of America.

Read Osafo-Maafo's story originally published on Ghanaweb in April 2019 below:

More questions are emerging as to why Chinese galamsey queen, Aisha Huang, was freed and deported out of Ghana without facing the necessary charges that were preferred against her and her accomplices by the state.

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo in a video in possession with MyNewsGh.com has revealed that jailing her in the country was not important and it was not any way going to solve the money problem of the country adding that it was neither going to make Ghanaians happy or make he himself happy.



“Putting [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy,” he revealed to shouts from the background that they should have at least jailed her during a town hall meeting that was recently held outside the country.

He revealed to grumbling Ghanaians who had gathered at the event that what mattered was the fact she had been deported outside the country with measures put in place to safeguard against the destruction of the environment.

Realising his audience were not in any way consuming what he was telling them, he catalogued a litany of benefits Ghanaians stand to gain in their new marriage with China saying, “We have a very good relationship with China. The main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us. So when there are these kinds of arrangements there are other things behind the scenes. There are many other things beyond what we see in these matters and everybody is wide awake. The most important thing is that we established regulations and we are protecting our environment. That is far more important than one Chinese woman who has been deported back to her country.”

The Chinese illegal mining “queen,” En Huang a.k.a Aisha, and the four other Chinese nationals who were arrested for their involvement in illegal mining (galamsey) in Ghana, in December last year were deported.

This, followed the filing of a nolle prosequi to discontinue the trial by a State Attorney, Ms. Mercy Arthur who presented the application to the Accra High Court, presided over by Mr. Justice Charles Ekow Baiden.

Aisha and her compatriots were arraigned before court on May 9, 2017, for engaging in illegal small-scale mining at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.

She was charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

The other four accused persons were charged with disobedience of directives given by or under the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

According to the prosecution, Aisha had a mining concession at Bepotenten and also operated a mining support services company.