Galamsey Queen Returns, Caged Again

Aisha Huang

EN HUANG, popularly known as Aisha Huang, a Chinese lady who was arraigned in 2017 for her alleged involvement in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region, known in local parlance as galamsey, has been re-arrested and remanded into police custody by an Accra Circuit Court for another offence relating to illegal mining.

The accused, who was widely known as ‘Galamsey Queen’ during her first trial, was yesterday dragged before the court together with three others in connection with their involvement in illegal mining, which has became a menace in the country’s mining areas.

She has been arraigned together with three other Chinese – Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun, and are facing charges of mining without licence, engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without licence, to which they all pleaded not guilty.

First Trial

Aisha Huang and four accomplices were initially arrested on May 4, 2017, in the Ashanti Region after they allegedly engaged in illegal mining.

The accused persons reportedly worked as illegal miners at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.

At the time of their arrest, ‘galamsey’ had been banned by the government, through the then Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu.

The Office of the Attorney General (AG) on December 19, 2018 entered nolle prosequi to discontinue her trial after she had been deported from the country by the Ghana Immigration Service.

Their lawyer at the time, Capt. Nkrabeah Effah Dartey (Rtd.), expressed shock at the decision of the state and wondered whether the decision was a ploy by the state to curtail the liberties of the accused persons or re-arrest them after they were discharged by the court.

An Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Ekow Baiden, during her first trial heard that Aisha Huang had used the details of one Anthony Fabian, whom she claimed to be her Ghanaian husband, to get both a dependent and indefinite permit.

New Arrest

Court documents in the new trial indicate that Aisha Huang who was deported in 2018 had changed details on her passport and managed to return to Ghana under the name Huang Ruixia.

The prosecution, led by Detective Chief Inspector Fredrick Sarpong, said the galamsey kingpin sneaked back into the country in the early part of this year, and started the purchase and sale of minerals without a valid licence and the sale of equipment used in illegal mining activities.

He urged the court to remand the accused persons, and the court presided over by His Honour Samuel Bright Acquah, remanded Aisha Huang and her three accomplices into police custody to reappear on September 14, 2022.

GIS Statement

In a related development, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) report that on September 2, 2022, a joint team of personnel from their Intelligence Section, the Defence Intelligence and National Intelligence Bureau arrested Ruixia Huang and three other Chinese nationals at their hideout at Ahodwo, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

She claimed to have entered the country on August 31, 2022 from Togo through an unapproved route along the Aflao stretch of the Ghana/Togo border.

She was arrested in a facility where she sells mining related equipment, and is believed to have acquired a new passport issued on January 14, 2019 at Fujian with a different name, Reixia Huang, a GIS statement pointed out.

The said passport bore the number EE9994609.

The GIS is yet to retrieve their passports for the determination of their immigration status in the country. Their passports are reportedly in the custody of one Mr. Smith whose

contact number was given as 0540288800, the GIS statement added.

They were yesterday escorted to the National Security to assist in investigations. The GIS in their statement referred to their earlier report dated May 3, 2019 on the revocation of permit and removal of En Huang aka Aisha.

It would be recalled that on December 19, 2018, she was repatriated to China and her future entry into the country restricted by the Comptroller-General in accordance with Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573). She was arrested and arraigned before the Accra High Court 2 for her alleged involvement in illegal mining, according to the GIS.

The AG, the GIS statement continued, “filed an application for nolle prosequi resulting in her re-arrest and subsequent repatriation by the GIS.”

BY Gibril Abdul Razak