Story: News Desk
Illegal mining kingpin, Aisha Huang has been convicted of mining offences.
The ‘galamsey queen’ was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison in addition to a fine of GH₵48,000.
This was announced by an Accra High Court on Monday, December 4, 2023.
The Chinese national, also known as En Huang, was standing trial for undertaking a mining operation without a licence, facilitating the participation of persons engaged in mining operation, the illegal employment of foreigners and entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry.
But Aisha Huang insisted she has never been involved in illegal mining.
Meanwhile, state prosecutors have vehemently opposed the claim.
Both parties closed their cases on October 12 and judgment was expected to be delivered today.
In the hearing today, the judge agreed with prosecutors that Aisha abused the hospitality extended to her.
The court also believed that the suspect abused her repatriation arrangement by returning to Ghana.
Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General, Alfred-Tuah Yeboah has assured that the convict will be deported after serving her sentence.
En Huang was accused of being involved in galamsey, particularly in the Ashanti Region.
In 2018, she was deported from the country after the Attorney General decided to discontinue her trial, where she faced accusations of engaging in small-scale mining without a license.
Despite her deportation, it was reported that she returned to the country clandestinely to allegedly resume the same activities that led to her deportation.
In October 2022, the Attorney General decided to prosecute her for the alleged crimes committed before her deportation and new ones since her re-entry into the country.
The prosecution claimed that Aisha had an illegal mining concession at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region and also operated a mining support services company.
Initially pleading not guilty to charges such as undertaking mining operations without a license, facilitating the participation of individuals in mining operations, illegal employment of foreigners, and entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry, Aisha changed her plea on May 3 of the same year.
She pleaded guilty to entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry, as per section 20(4) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573. This change in plea occurred after she entered into a Plea Bargaining agreement with the State (Office of the Attorney General).