The High Court in Accra has deferred the sentencing of En Huang also known as Aisha Huang until trial for all charges leveled against her is completed even though the accused has pleaded guilty to the charge of entering Ghana unlawfully.
The galamsey queen was convicted after she changed her plea in the immigration offence she is facing at the High Court to guilty. She had earlier pleaded not guilty to four counts of undertaking a mining operation without license, facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation, the illegal employment of foreigners and entering Ghana while she had been prohibited from entry. But after eight months of trial, Aisha Huang decided to change her plea in the last charge but her plea to counts on illegal mining remain not guilty. She was arrested in 2022 for re-entering Ghana, engaging in illegal mining despite her deportation in 2018 for a similar offence.
The state in an attempt to prove the four charges have so far presented eleven witnesses consisting of immigration officers, police officers and community leaders to testify against the Galamsey Queen. The last witness Superintendent of Immigration, Divine Ahumah Ocansey was put to the stand on Tuesday where he testified to the immigration and illegal mining offences of the accused person.
The decision of Aisha Huang to change her plea with respect to the immigration offence, followed the testimony of the eleventh witness. Even though Aisha Huang has been convicted, her sentencing has been deferred until the final determination of the matter. Superintendent of Immigration, Divine Ahumah Ocansey in his testimony revealed that he was tasked by the Ghana Immigration Service to investigate the immigration status of Aisha Huang when she was arrested in 2017.
During investigations, Superintendent Ocansey indicated that it emerged that Aisha Huang entered Ghana in May 2010 with a thirty-day visitor’s visa and had been travelling in and out of Ghana until she obtained a dependent permit on November 25, 2010, as the wife of one Anthony Fabian, a Ghanaian.
According to Ocansey, upon further checks on the processes leading to the acquisition of her indefinite residence it was discovered that ‘most of the documents supporting her application, like the Ghana Passport Biodata pages of Anthony Fabien and the marriage certificate of her alleged marriage to Anthony Fabian were forged.’ The witness further revealed that Anthony Fabien’s bank account statement which was used to support Aisha’s indefinite residence application was found to be dormant and opened with a forged Ghanaian passport.
Superintendent Ocansey indicated in his evidence that his investigation established that Aisha was conducting mining operations at Bepotenten where some four Chinese males were arrested in 2017. He revealed that these four Chinese males during interrogation admitted to having been employed by Aisha Huang to work on a mining concession and equipment belonging to her.
On immigration offence, Ocansey testified that “the accused was deported on December 19, 2018, and arrived in China on December 20, 2018, and was directed to stay out of Ghana until any future approval by comptroller-General”. However, Aisha returned to Ghana in
2022 and investigations into her re-entry commenced on September 9, 2022. While Aisha was deported with a passport bearing the name En Huang, she returned with another passport under the name Ruxia Huang. The second passport according to the witness however had no Ghana Visa Permitting her travel to Ghana. Superintendent of Immigration Ocansey further testified that the “edge of the biodata page of the new passport had been cut and the last page slit meaning it was invalid”.
The prosecution closed its case after the cross-examination of the eleventh witness and the case has been adjourned to May 25 for a determination of whether prosecution has proved a prima facie case against the accused. Meanwhile, Aisha Huang and his lawyers are expected to file their submission of no case by May 16 while prosecution is expected to respond by May 24.