Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has emphasized that Chinese galamsey kingpin, Aisha Huang, left the shores of the country in 2018 on the orders of relevant authorities.
He, however, clarified that the Chinese national was repatriated and not deported as earlier reported by a section of the media.
“Technically, she was repatriated,” Oppong-Nkrumah said.
His comment comes on the back of controversy on President Akufo-Addo’s controversial statement that he is unsure whether or not the Chinese galamsey kingpin was deported or fled on her own.
Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM on September 13, the minister who doubles as a Member of Parliament for Offoase Ayirebi said the most important thing is that Aisha Huang was rearrested by the security agencies who did not go to sleep on their job when she reentered the country.
He added that Aisha Huang will be made to face the rigors of the law for engaging in galamsey-related activities.
“First of all when the question was asked, which was the question premised on deportation and (you listen to) the entirety of the president’s answer, you get clarity on first; the figure of speech that he used that he’s not too sure whether it was deportation or whether she fled on her own.
“But what is important is that the security agencies have not gone to bed like some are assuming and that when she found herself back into the Ghanaian jurisdiction she was arrested, she is now before court.
“She has not been bailed, there’s a tighter legal regime now that is going to deal with her under Act 995 I think. The sanctions are now between 15 and 25 years so it’s not at first when she could pay GH₵100 or GH₵1,200 even if she was found guilty.
“The president makes the point that you can say deportation or you can say it was a repatriation but that’s not the point. The thing is that she was exited from the Ghanaian jurisdiction and more importantly when she came back into the jurisdiction she has been apprehended and she will face the full rigors of the law,” the legislator emphasized.
Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah further stated that “we can quarrel over the president’s choice of words but the substantive answer are very clear”.
Speaking in an interview on Stone City Radio in Ho during his tour of the Volta Region, which GhanaWeb monitored, Akufo-Addo expressed uncertainty about whether Aisha Huang was deported.
According to the president, it is likely that the ‘galamsey’ queen was never deported but fled the country in 2018.
“… I am not still sure whether she was, in fact, deported or whether she fled the country the first time and has now come back or whatever. There still seems to be some uncertainty about it.
“Whichever way it is, she has become a sort of nickname for all that the ‘galamsey’ represent and also, unfortunately, for the involvement of Chinese nationals in this illicit trade,” he said.
Akufo-Addo, however, indicated that the government was committed to fighting the menace.
Several government spokespersons and the Ghana Immigration Service officials, have said that Aisha Huang was deported.
Meanwhile, Aisha Huang is expected to make a court appearance today to answer to charges the state has preferred against her following her rearrest for engaging in galamsey-related activities.