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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 12 July 2018


'Galamsey queen' secured permit using ‘fake’ husband

An officer of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has told an Accra High Court that En Huang, the Chinese lady standing trial over alleged illegal mining (galamsey) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, used non-existing details of her alleged Ghanaian husband to secure resident and wok permits in the country.

Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Divine Ahumah Occansey, who appeared before the court yesterday as a prosecution witness, told the court that the suspect used the details of one Anthony Fabian, whom she claimed to be her Ghanaian husband, to get both a dependent and indefinite permit.

He told the court that the indefinite permit which was granted the Chinese woman, popularly known as Aisha, on April 24, 2015, meant that she could enter Ghana without a visa, as well as employ and be employed without a Ghanaian resident or work permit.

DSI Occansey, who is the 5th prosecution witness in the trial, led in his evidence-in-chief by Mercy Arthur, a chief state attorney, told the court he was assigned by his head of department to ascertain the passport of Aisha after she had been arrested.

He told the court that a careful examination of Aisha’s passport revealed that she first arrived in Ghana on May 25, 2010, with a B2 Visa which was conditioned for 30 days at the point of entry at the Kotoka International Airport.

He stated that B2 Visas are given to “people who intend to visit relatives, friends and for medical purposes”.

Dependent/Definite Permit

DSI Occansey told the court that when he studied the passport, he found that Aisha was granted a dependent permit by the GIS on a Ghanaian spouse named Anthony Fabian for one year.

“She continued renewing the resident permit which was issued to her (I think) in November 2010. On April 28, 2015, she was granted an indefinite permit all in the name of an alleged husband, Anthony Fabian, with conditions attached that she is to enter the country without a visa. She could be self-employed or employ without work and resident permit”, the witness told the court.

He stated that based on her employment status, a statement from GIS enforcement unit in Kumasi shows that she owned a supermarket called ‘Golden Asia Supermarket’.

‘Fake’ Passport

DSI Occansey further told the court that following her arrest, the GIS retrieved all her personal records with GIS to go through all the applications that were used to support both the dependent and indefinite permits.

He said GIS wrote to all relevant institutions to authenticate the passport but all the results returned to them were negative.

“There was Ghanaian passport in the name of Anthony Fabian. The Service then wrote to the Birth and Death Registry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs passport division to furnish the service if Anthony Fabian has a manual or biometric birth certificate and that of a Ghanaian passport. The reply from both institutions indicated that there were no pieces of information on the said Anthony Fabian”, DSI Occansey told the court.

He stated that Aisha had told the GIS that she met the said Anthony Fabian and married him in China in 2007, and he currently lives in New York in the United States of America.

“Based on this information, the Service checked through the Personal Identification Secured Certified Evaluation System which provides all information on any traveller with a biodata page passport on who enters or lives the country.

“All information on Anthony Fabian proved futile in our system. All the entry points in Ghana were contacted with the passport biodata page of Anthony Fabian which contains name, date of birth, passport number, date of issue and expiry date. No positive record was given to the Service that the said Anthony Fabian had travelled in or out of the country”, DSI Occansey told the court.

He stated that he personally invited Aisha to give the Service information on the said Anthony Fabian since she relied on him to secure both the dependent and indefinite permits. He said the suspect gave them a telephone number which they called several times but there was no response.

“The last question we asked the first accused person (Aisha) was: when was the last time her husband, Anthony Fabian, visited Ghana? She declined to speak and said the matter was in court”, he added.

Mining License

DSI Occansey also told the court that when it turned out that Aisha was renting excavators for mining services for a company called Egyiri Mining Company, the GIS wrote to the Minerals Commission to confirm whether she had been licensed to operate or support mining services.

The reply from the Minerals Commission states that no mining license has been granted to the aforementioned company.

The court presided over by Justice Ekow Baiden adjourned the matter to today for the defence to cross-examine the witness.