Embattled galamsey queen, Aisha Huang, and her three accomplices, currently on trial over illegal mining activities, have once again been denied bail
by an Accra circuit court. This is their third failed attempt at requesting bail, following their arrest earlier this month.
Prior to the recent bail application, the prosecution had requested more time to advance in their investigations. Due to this and several other reasons, the presiding judge, Samuel Bright Acquah, has insisted that Aisha Huang and her counterparts remain in custody while investigations are ongoing. They are, therefore, to remain in custody for a fortnight.
Aisha Huang’s return
The four, En Huang, Jong Li Hua, Huang Jei, and Huiad Hiahu, have been charged with engaging in the sale of minerals without a licence and mining without a licence. The Attorney General, Godfred Dame, on Friday, September 16, 2022, included fresh charges against Aisha Huang. The four (4)charges filed against her were in respect of offences
committed between 2015 and 2017. They are:
Count One: Undertaking a mining operation without a licence
contrary to section 99(2)(a) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 as amended by the Minerals
and Mining (Amendment) Act 2019, Act 995.
Count Two: Facilitating the participation of persons engaged
in a mining operation contrary to section 99 (2)(a) & (3) of the
Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2019, Act 995.
Count Three: Illegal employment of foreign nationals contrary to Section 24 of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
Count Four: Entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry contrary to section 20(4) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573.
The Fight against galamsey
The laws of the country strictly prohibit illegal mining activities. The Minerals and Mining Act proscribes sanctions for people who engage in such activities.
The Act proscribes sanctions in the form of a fine and imprisonment of between 15 and 25 years for each of the following crimes: buying or selling minerals without a licence or authority; mining in breach of the law; abetting any breach of the mining law; contracting a non-Ghanaian to provide mining support services; abetting the breach of the mining laws by a foreigner; fabricating or manufacturing floating platforms or other equipment to be used for mining in our water bodies;
and providing an excavator for an illegal mining operation.
The Act further provides that a non-Ghanaian who illegally mines or abets illegal mining attracts a large fine and imprisonment of between 20 and 25 years, and shall be deported after serving the sentence.
However, this was not seen in the case of Aisha Huang when she was initially arrested in 2017 and supposedly deported in 2018.
However, the activities of illegal miners are still on the surge due to failure of authorities in charge to strictly enforce the laws.
Meanwhile, “Operation Halt,” an anti-galamsey task force launched by the government to curtail illegal mining activities in the country, is still in operation.
Recent arrests carried out in relation to galamsey.
Aside from Aisha Huang and her accomplices, the Operation Halt task force has also facilitated the arrest of some 164 persons, comprising Ghanaians and foreign nationals, after a three- day operation at Anyinam and Mampong.
The Judge’s call on the judiciary to help in the fight
Meanwhile, the judge, who presided over Aisha Huang’s case
on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, called on the judiciary to help in the fight against the canker.