What was supposed to be freedom at last turned a nightmare for four Chinese nationals who have been accused of engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without a valid licence, and mining without a licence.
Although the accused persons – En Huang aka Aisha Huang, 47, Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun – pleaded not guilty to the charges, they had been on remand since September 8, 2022.
However, the accused breathed sighs of relief when their case was called at about 9:40am local time yesterday, as the Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Samuel Bright Acquah, was informed by a representative of the Attorney General (A-G), Watinx Adamah, said the state was withdrawing the charges against them.
Mr. Adamah told the court that the state had a similar case pending at the High Court, hence, the need for the withdrawal.
The court, upon hearing this application by the A-G, discharged the Chinese nationals off the offences levelled against them.
However, this hope of freedom was shattered shortly after Aisha, together with her daughter and the two others, stepped out of the court room.
The state security, once again, bundled them in handcuffs into their vehicles waiting outside the court.
It is not clear what charges would be pressed against the other persons, since the High Court is trying only Aisha Huang for facilitating the participation of persons engaged in mining operations and illegal employment of foreign nationals.
According to hearsay, the state might consider the option of deporting Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun from the jurisdiction.
They were charged before the court for engaging in a series of small-scale mining activities, known as “galamsey”, in the country.
Aisha Huang, for instance, was allegedly arrested for a similar offence in 2017, but managed to sneak out of the country to avert prosecution.
She was alleged to have secretly returned into the country early this year and with impunity continued from where she allegedly left off.
Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun were said to be engaged in the sale of equipment used in illegal mining activities.Read Full Story