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A-G takes over Aisha Huang case - NIA confirms Ghana Card authentic

BY: Justice Agbenorsi
En Huang, aka Aisha Huang
En Huang, aka Aisha Huang

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has assured Ghanaians that he will reinitiate the prosecution of the alleged illegal mining (galamsey) ‘queen’, En Huang, aka Aisha Huang.

Consequently, the A-G has called for the docket on Aisha Huang from the police to enable his office to prepare a complete docket covering offences from 2018 to the present.

“There shall be full prosecution for her alleged new and past offences,” a statement from the A-G’s official Twitter media handle said yesterday.

Deportation

In 2018, the Chinese illegal mining ‘queen’ faced 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 from the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and illegal employment of foreigners, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

However, she was deported in December 2018, after state prosecutors had filed a nolle prosequi to discontinue the trial.

Arrest

Last week, Aisha Huang was arrested through a National Security operation after she had reportedly ‘sneaked’ into the country to again undertake the illegal mining activity.

A source close to the case, who spoke with the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity yesterday, said at the time of her arrest, the Chinese had in her possession a non-citizen identity card, with the date of issue being February 27, 2022.

She is currently facing criminal charges, along with three others, at an Accra Circuit Court.

The other accused persons, all Chinese, are Jong Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huiad Hiahu.

Prosecution

Last Friday, an Accra Circuit Court remanded the 47-year-old Aisha and the three others for allegedly engaging in illegal mining.

They have been charged for engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without a licence.

Aisha is facing an additional charge of engaging in mining without a licence.

When they appeared in court last Friday, their pleas were not taken because the court had no Chinese interpreter at the time.

When the case was called last Monday, Aisha was not in court, but the three others were present.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded into custody to reappear on September 14, 2022.

Facts

The prosecutor, Detective Chief Inspector Frederick Sarpong, told the court, presided over by Bright Acquah, that Aisha had previously escaped prosecution in Accra when she was arrested.

According to him, Aisha returned to China and changed her identity, only to come back to Ghana to commit the same crime for which she had escaped prosecution earlier.

Togo visa

Chief Inspector Sarpong said the accused person applied for a Togolese visa and entered Ghana through its border with Togo and back to the ‘galamsey’ business in a town in the Ashanti Region.

The three others with her, according to the prosecutor, sold mining equipment and dealt in gold in Accra, without a valid licence.

They were arrested upon intelligence by the National Security.

NIA reacts

Meanwhile, the National Identification Authority (NIA) has, in a statement to clarify the noncitizen identity card found on Aisha at the time of her arrest, explained that the security agencies were investigating the matter.

It confirmed that the noncitizen identity card (Ghana Card) found on Aisha was authentic.

The statement, signed by the acting Head of Corporate Affairs of the NIA, Dr Abudu Abdul Ganiyu, said Huang En first applied for the card at the Foreigner Identification Management System (FIMS) registration centre at Nhyiaeso, Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region on February 26, 2014.

She, subsequently, did two more renewals on August 31, 2016 and January 8, 2018, using the same details and the Chinese passport number G39575625 with the name En Huang.

On August 25, 2022, she visited an NIA registration centre in Tamale in the Northern Region for a card, but that time around under the name Ruxia Huang.

According to the NIA, further investigations revealed that based on the biometrics provided, Ruxia Huang had previously registered as En Huang in the FIMS record in the NIA database.

“As per the NIA’s normal registration process, En Huang was asked to provide an official certified affidavit and a gazette, as required by law, to support the change of name if the details in the passport with number EJ5891162 were to be used to update her old records.

“En Huang was then given the option of waiting to bring in the required documents before her details could be updated or renewing her old registration with her personal ID Number CHN010039480-J, without any change in details.

“She opted to renew with the old details and then go through the affidavit and gazette process, after which she would then provide the documents for the update to be done.

“Her renewed non-citizen Ghana Card was then issued to her on August 25, 2022, with the name En Huang,” the statement said.

The NIA further said its verification system functioned as designed to enable it to prevent Huang En from registering under a new name and date of birth for a new non-citizen Ghana Card, despite her being in possession of two Chinese passports.

“The matter is being investigated by the security agencies. The NIA wishes to assure the public that its technical system remains robust and it will continue to jealously guard the boundaries of Ghanaian citizenship and prevent unqualified foreigners from obtaining the Ghana Card meant for Ghanaian citizens,” the statement concluded.