Galamsey Queen Video In Court

Aisha Huang


An Accra High Court yesterday played a video recorded at an illegal mining site at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region where some Chinese nationals connected with En Huang, aka Aisha Huang, were arrested in 2017.

The video was tendered in evidence by Superintendent of Immigration Ruben Ransford Aborabora, when he testified as the prosecution’s first witness in the trial of Aisha Huang, who is facing four counts of offences relating to illegal mining, re-entering Ghana illegally and employing foreign nationals.

Led in his evidence-in-chief by Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the witness told the court that he recorded the video with his mobile phone in 2017 when he led a team of six junior immigration officers to the site where some Chinese nationals and Africans were engaged in illegal mining.

He said one of the four Chinese nationals arrested at the illegal mining site had told the team that they were there mining on behalf of Aisha Huang, who lived in Kumasi and was in possession of their passports.

The video captured a vast land where illegal mining was taking place with various equipment such as excavators and sand washing machines.

Supt Aborabora told the court that his aim of leading the team to Bepotenten was to verify information “our office had received that some Chinese nationals and others were engaged in illegal mining at Bepotenten in spite of government ban on mining activities.”

He said upon reaching the site they saw a container close to a road that runs through the site and it contained machine parts and barrels, some of which had fuel in them while others were empty.

“The mining activities had generated heaps of sand that gathered, forming a ridge. There were also heaps of sand that had been freshly dug out. There was a cocoa farm close to the site and part of the cocoa farm had been cleared,” the witness told the court.

Supt Aborabora said upon reaching the site he saw a Chinese national and two Africans under an umbrella, and while his men closed in on them, they took to their heels and ran into a nearby cocoa farm, an incident which alarmed the other Chinese nationals and Africans working on the site, who also ran into the nearby cocoa farm.

He said there was also a wooden structure on the site which was divided into many rooms and had mattresses, green carpets and mosquito nets in some of the rooms, while one of the rooms had a fridge and cooking utensils.

He said he and his colleagues arrested two Chinese nationals in one of the rooms, while another officer also arrested one from the site and the fourth Chinese national was arrested at the end of the cocoa farm towards the Offin River.

“Upon arresting the four Chinese nationals, I interacted with them before we set off to Obuasi. I asked them of their mission at the site and Gao Jin Cheng said that they were there to mine for one Aisha. I spoke to him in broken English,” he told the court.

“I asked for their passports and Gao Jin Cheng said they were with Madam Aisha. I asked him where Madam Aisha was and he said Kumasi,” Supt Aborabora added.

Nkrabea Effah Dartey, counsel for the accused, in his cross-examination of the witness asked him whether he had any direct personal information or evidence against the accused for mining illegally.

“My Lord, Gao Jin Cheng, one of the Chinese I arrested with my men said they were at Bepotenten mining for one Aisha Huang and that all their passports were with her in Kumasi,” he responded.

“So if Goa Jin Cheng gave you wrong information then your source is wrong. Correct? The lawyer asked.

“Yes, my Lord. I only reported on what Gao Jin Cheng told me and I forwarded same in my report on that day to the Kumasi office for further investigations,” the witness added.

The case was adjourned to November 14 for the prosecution to call its second witness.


BY Gibril Abdul Razak