The son of illegal mining kingpin, En Huang, popularly known as Aisha Huang, was yesterday remanded into the custody of Nsawam Medium Security Prison over immigration offence and illegally possessing ammunition.
Huang Lei, was arrested at Ahodwo in Kumasi in September, this year, for continuing to remain in Ghana after the expiration of his passport and resident permit.
Among the offences for which he is before an Accra High Court is the 250 rounds of ammunition that were found in his room, in a search conducted by the arresting officers, which he could not provide a permit for.
He has been charged with one count of continuing to remain in Ghana after expiration of permit contrary to Section 20(1) and 52(1)(D) of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) and one count of possessing ammunition without permit.
Charged alongside Huang Lei is Huang Hiahua, another Chinese national who is facing one count of possessing a forged Chinese passport with a resident permit.
The two pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them by the prosecution and their lawyer, Frank Kumakoh, told the court that he will formally file an application seeking bail for the two pending the trial. He hinted that the accused persons may likely change their plea on the immigration charges.
Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, the presiding judge, remanded the two into the custody of Nsawam Prison on ground that they are foreign nationals who do not have sufficient social ties in the country.
“The accused persons are foreign nationals who do not have sufficient social ties within the jurisdiction of this country. They are thus of high flight risk. It will be in the interest of justice that they are kept in the custody of the relevant authority while their trial proceeds,” the court added.
Justice Marfo ordered the prosecution to file its disclosures and serve same on the defence on or before the next date.
She added that the accused may as well file their relevant documents and serve same on the prosecution in view of section 53 of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) and as far as the immigration offences are concerned. The case was adjourned to December 13, 2022 for case management conference.
The prosecution’s brief fact presented by Watkins Adama, a State Attorney, said on September 2, 2022, a team of security officers visited the residence of the accused persons at Ahodwo, Kumasi, where they were arrested following a tip off that some foreign nationals were living in the country despite the expiration of their permit.
He said the arresting team retrieved Huang Lei’s Chinese passport with a permit issued by the Director of Immigration, which authorised him to remain in Ghana until January 5, 2022.
The accused person upon his arrest and interrogation is said to have admitted he did not have a valid permit to remain in Ghana.
“A search conducted in the room of the first accused person (Huang Lei) revealed among other things, eight (8) packs of Eley shot gun cartridges, containing about two hundred and fifty (250) pieces of ammunition. He was not able to provide a valid licence for them,” Mr. Adama disclosed.
He said Huang Hiahua, on the other hand, had in his possession a Chinese passport bearing his name and affixed to the said passport is what appears to be a Republic of Ghana Residence Permit purportedly issued by the Director of Immigration for a one-year period with effect from May 26, 2022.
“However, investigations disclosed that the supposed permit was not issued by or with the consent or authority of the Ghana Immigration Service,” he added.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak