The notorious Chinese national noted for undertaking illegal mining (Galamsey) in Ghana, Aisha Huang, earning her the name ‘Galamsey Queen’, has been sentenced to four and half years imprisonment by a High Court in Accra.
She was also fined a total of GH?48,000 by the court after the Office of the Attorney General successfully proved it case against her.
The court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo also ordered that Aisha Huang be deported to her home country after serving the prison sentence.
The court was compelled to hand her the four and half years because at the time she committed the offence, the maximum sentence under Act 900 for illegal mining was five years.
The new amendment has, Minerals and Mining Act (Amended), however enhanced the maximum sentence to 25 years but the court could not have imposed that as it would be a retrospective application of the law which is frowned upon by the constitution.
The Chinese national who illegally returned to Ghana through Togo, after her repatriation in December 2018, was convicted and sentenced by the court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo who found her guilty of the three counts of mininin without a licence, facilitating others to mine without licence and illegal employment of foreign nationals.
She had already changed her plea and pleaded guilty to the charge of re-entering Ghana and was convicted by the court prior to the court’s judgement.
She was standing trial for undertaking illegal mining and also facilitating mining activities at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, as a foreigner contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act.
Her lawyer, Miracle Attachey had pleaded with the court not to impose a custodial sentence as that would only put more economic burden on the state which would have to take care of her in prison.
He urged the court to impose a fine on her and then deport her to her home country of China.
This plea was rejected by the prosecution led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, who said Aisha Huang’s activities had caused devastating damages to communities where she mined.
“We wish that she will be sentenced to the maximum sentence provided, a fine and deportation order after she has finished serving her sentence.
Justice Marfo said if she had her way she easily have sent we the accused under the new Act because of the impunity with which she carried out her illegal mining activities.
BY Gibril Abdul RazakRead Full Story