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General News of Wednesday, 24 April 2019


Osafo Maafo's comment confirms how gov’t officials front for foreign illegal miners - Dev’t planner

A development planner, Mr Richard Kojo Ellimah, has explained that every country that lends a helping hand to another country, is entitled to some benefits but the benefits should not violate the laws of that country.

Reacting to the recent comments by Senior Minister Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo that jailing Aisha Huang, would not have solved our economic problems, Mr Ellimah said, the comments by the Senior Minister has affirmed the assertions people have about top government officials assisting foreigners to engage in galamsey.

The Aisha Huang case he noted was a serious crime because the suspect was not only engaging in illegal mining but was also fronting for other Chinese illegal miners, through the help of some politicians.

He said, if it were to be any other country, Aisha Huang would have been prosecuted and jailed for engaging in illegal mining.

To him, the deportation of the Chinese galamsey queen was unfortunate.

”The deportation was not part of the punishment. She should have been prosecuted and jailed. However, we have allowed money to be our priority and failed to do what is right.”

Reacting also to the Chinese Ambassador’s call on Ghana government to blame Ghanaians for the involvement of Chinese nationals in galamsey, he said, the Ambassador was spot on in asking government to enforce its laws to help stop galamsey.

The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Shi Ting Wang, has called on Ghanaians to stop blaming Chinese nationals for the galamsey menace in the country and rather urge the government to punish Ghanaians who aid the Chinese in the illegal activity.

According to him, his country is ready to work with Ghana to ensure that any Chinese involved in galamsey is arrested and prosecuted.

Mr. Ting Wang added that the Chinese Embassy and its government were sometimes surprised as to how some Chinese arrested for illegal mining were released back into the country without any communication with the embassy for their repatriation.

“We don’t know where your gold is. We don’t issue visas too for the Chinese people coming to Ghana. Ghanaians issue the visas. Ghanaians aid the Chinese to where they can find your gold.

“How can we be able to do galamsey in your country…it is because of your own people…why are Chinese not doing illegal mining in South Africa where there is also a lot of gold…it is not possible…because the local people don’t support us but in Ghana some locals help the small number of Chinese people doing galamsey,” he said.

He added “If you want to stop galamsey in your country, you have to start punishing your own people first, otherwise you cannot solve this problem because we don’t know where the gold is, you lead us, you show us.”

Mr Ellimah opined that the Ambassador spoke the truth and was incumbent on government, to enforce the laws in order to help fight illegal mining once and for all.

He told Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that there was no basis for the deportation of Aisha Huang because there is no existing agreement between Ghana and China for the repatriation of nationals who may have committed a crime to their home countries for prosecution.