General Regional

Aisha Huang’s tears flow as bail is declined, trial proceeds

En Huang, aka Aisha Huang, a Chinese alleged galamsey kingpin, on Wednesday broke down when an Accra High Court turned down her application for bail once again.

Aisha Huang’s lawyer, Captain Retired Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, re-applied for her bail, explaining that Aisha was on bail during her trial in 2017.

The defence counsel said: “I am not saying you should leave her. I am only asking that as the case continues, please allow her liberty in terms of movement, subject to the condition that the court would indicate.

“Five years ago, while my client was on trial on similar charges, she never absented herself from any of the court sitting dates.”

The Counsel explained that Aisha was broken because she had been denied bail repeatedly.

“Being in prison or custody is not an easy thing you know. I have been through it and I know how it feels,” he added.

The Court, presided over by Mrs Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, however, refused the application, saying the trial had commenced and was moving at a faster pace.

“The accused is a foreigner and she has no social or other ties in the jurisdiction, and she is, therefore, a flight risk,” the court stated.

When the trial began, Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions, led Superintendent of Immigration, Reuben Ransford Aborabora, in evidence.

On May 5, 2017, he led six other officers of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to check on the validity of the permits of foreign nationals in the country as part of his duties, the first prosecution witness explained.

The officers, attached to the Enforcement Unit of GIS, went to Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.

Supt. Aborabora said their aim of going to Bepotenten was to verify information “our office had received to the effect that some Chinese nationals and others were engaged in illegal mining at Bepotenten despite the government’s ban on illegal mining activities.”

On reaching Bepotenten, the first prosecution witness said a road, which run through the site had a container with machine parts in it.

There were also barrels containing fuel, while mining activities had generated freshly dugout heaps of sand.

There was a cocoa farm close to the site and part of the cocoa farm had been cleared, while dug out pits, had some water in them, he added

Supt. Aborabora said: “At the site, I heard the sound of excavators in use and the sound of generators. In total, I saw six excavators out of which four were in use.”

At Bepotenten, Supt. Aborabora said the team arrested four Chinese nationals, including one Gao Jin Cheng, who informed them that they were there to mine for one Aisha.

He said when he asked the four for their passports, they told the team that they were with Aisha.

He, consequently, recorded the mining activities at Bepotenten on his mobile phone and transferred it to a Compact Disc and later to a pen drive.

The video recording was thus played in court, as evidence.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Capt. Effah Dartey, the officer maintained that Aisha was not at Bepotenten when his team visited.

The officer also said personally, he had no direct information against Aisha for mining illegally.

However, it was Gao who told him that they were at the mine site for Aisha, who also their passports.

Defence Counsel (DC): “If Gao Jin Chen gave you wrong information, then your source is wrong.”

Witness: “Yes, my Lord, I only reported on what Gao Jin Cheng told me and I forwarded same in my report to the GIS Enforcement Unit in Kumasi for further investigations.”

DC: “You and your men carried out regular operations at Bepotenten.”

Witness: “Not exactly, we go there as and when my senior officer in charge directs.”

DC: “Are you aware that some of your men were constantly being compromised?”

Witness: “No, my Lord, I have no personal information to that effect.”

Aisha is being held for allegedly engaging in illegal mining activities at Bepotenten in the Ashanti Region in the year 2017.

She is facing charges of undertaking mining operations without a license and facilitating the participation of persons engaged in mining.

Aisha is also facing an additional charge of illegal employment of foreign nationals and entering Ghana while she had been prohibited from re-entry.

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