President Nana Akufo-Addo said the government’s decision to deport Chinese citizen Aisha Huang after announcing she was involved in illegal mining was an error.
“I think the decision to deport Aisha Huang in hindsight was a mistake and that is why that process and procedure is being stopped,” he said at a forum at Princeton University during his visit to the United States of America.
Aisha Huang gained infamy since her arrest on May 2017 and was was tagged as the Galamsey Queen.
She was charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations that violated Section 99 (1) of the 2006 Mining and Mining Law (Law 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).
During the indictment, the case was controversially suspended by the government and she was deported in December 2018.
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Further controversy erupted when Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, suggested that Ayesha Huang was not subject to strict laws for diplomatic reasons at a town hall meeting in the USA.
However, given the latest developments in the law to combat illegal mining, the President does not expect a repeat of such mistakes.
A foreigner involved in illegal mining must now face a prison sentence of at least 20 years and no more than 25 years based on amendments to the Minerals and Mining Law.
“The response to that has been the amendment of the law that… enhances sanctions for people; both Ghanaians and foreigners who are engaged [in illegal mining].”
Government officials involved in Galamsey
The President responded to questions from a Ghanaian Colorado resident, who also requested a report from the President about his own employees involved in illegal mining.
He also claimed that he had evidence pointing to government officials.
However, President Nana Akufo-Addo questioned why the Ghanaian man, Solomon Owusu, did not come forward with his evidence.
People make this statement, but they never offer to give evidence. This is difficult, but if you have it, why keep it, why not send it to the Ghanaian authorities … What information do you have in Colorado? That is needed in Accra, not in Colorado. “
The president stressed that he “wanted to receive information that would allow an investigation to be carried out, and then the consequences.”
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