Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo has justified the decision by an Accra High Court to free embattled Chinese galamsey queen Aisha Huang who was deported back to China, her home country in December last year.
At a town hall meeting recently held outside the country, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo is heard in a widely circulated video saying it does not serve in the interest of any Ghanaian to have Aisha Huang jailed in Ghana where she was alleged to have committed the crime in connivance with others.
“Putting [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy”, he revealed to contrary shouts from the background that they should have at least jailed her.
Trying to explain off the precarious nature of the issue he added “We have a very good relationship with China. The main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us. So when there are these kind of arrangements there are other things behind the scenes. Putting [Aisha Huan] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy.
That is not important…the most important thing is that she has been deported out of Ghana. There are many other things beyond what we see in these matters and everybody is wide awake. The most important thing is that we established regulations and we are protecting our environment. That is far more important than one Chinese woman who has been deported back to her country”
The Chinese illegal mining “queen,” En Huang aka Aisha, and the four other Chinese nationals who were arrested for their involvement in illegal mining (galamsey) in Ghana, in December last year were deported
This, followed the filing of a nolle prosequi to discontinue the trial by a State Attorney, Ms Mercy Arthu who presented the application to the Accra High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Charles Ekow Baiden
Aisha and her compatriots were arraigned before court on May 9, 2017 for engaging in illegal small-scale mining at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.
She was charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
The other four accused persons were charged with disobedience of directives given by or under the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
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According to the prosecution, Aisha had a mining concession at Bepotenten and also operated a mining support services company.