Aisha Huang handed 4 and half years jail term, plus GH¢48,000 fine for mining offences

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Chinese woman accused of engaging in illegal mining in the country Aisha Huang has been jailed for four years, and six months by an Accra High Court.

She is also to pay a fine of GHc48,000. The court further ordered her deportation after fully serving her prison term.

Aisha Huang was found guilty on all four counts of entering the country when she had been prohibited from undertaking mining operations without a license, facilitating the participation of persons engaged in mining operation and illegal employment of foreign nationals.

Justice Lydia Osei Marfo held that the prosecution was able to lead undisputable evidence that the convict was engaged in illegal mining activities in the country.

She said the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses corroborated the case of the prosecution against Aisha Huang.

Justice Osei Marfo said with the devastating effects of illegal mining on communities, the law must be strict on landowners who give out their lands to people for the activity.

She also blamed officials who did not do any due diligence in issuing the convict with a residence permit.

She said such persons should be found culpable and made to face the law. Prior to the sentencing, counsel for the convict prayed for a fine and her subsequent deportation out of the country.

He submitted that Aisha Huang made the case of the prosecution move expeditiously with regards to count four of which she pleaded guilty.

Director of Public Prosecution Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa said considering the impact of her action on society the court should impose a term of imprisonment as well as a fine to serve as a deterrent.

Aisha Huang’s trial at the Accra High Court started in November last year. The prosecution witnesses, including farmers, concession owners and immigration officials all testified of her engagement in illegal mining in Bepotenten in the Ashanti region.

Some of the charges were previous ones against her before the Attorney General entered a nolle prosequi on December 19, 2018 to discontinue a previous trial against her in 2017. The same day after the trial was terminated, the Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service revoked her permit to stay in the country indefinitely and ordered her repatriation to China.

Aisha Huang was further directed to stay out of the country until the Comptroller General approved her re-entry. She, however, defied the directive and re-entered the country.

Deputy Attorney General Alfred Tuah-Yeboah speaking after the court proceedings urged the public to provide information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of persons engaged in illegal mining which has negatively impacted the country.