File photo: The joint task force (JTF) overseeing the nationwide ban on small scale and illegal mining in Ghana, Operation Vanguard

A justice of the High Court in Accra, Justice Lydia Osei Marfo has recommended a review of the mining and mineral laws to deal drastically with chiefs, landowners and community leaders who give out lands for the purposes of illegal mining activities popularly known as galamsey.

According to the judge, the fight against illegal mining ought to be a public effort and the law should go after such people.

Justice Osei Marfo made this recommendation while imposing a four-and-half year custodial sentence and a fine of GHc48k on galamsey kingpin En Huang popularly known as Aisha Huang on December 4.

“To fight illegal mining, I think the law must rather go after landowners, chiefs and Community leaders who are found to give their land to such miners,” Justice Marfo stated.

The judge noted that, Aisha Huang being a foreigner, has no way of know there was a gold at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central if the land was not given to her by them, adding that, she will not have the effrontery to do this.

Justice Marfo also described Aisha Huang as someone who abused the hospitality of Ghanaians.

“The accused person abused our kind hospitality when her first trial was truncated and she was deported to her home country.

“She came back this time with new personality with different name, different date of birth,” the judge said.

By Court

On Monday, December 4, galamsey Kingpin Aisha Huang was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment after being found guilty of galamsey offenses.

She is also to pay a fine of GHc48, 000 and would be deported to her home country China after serving her punishment.

The High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo convicted Aisha Huang on three counts of – undertaking a mining operation without a license (Count 1), facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation (Count 2) and the illegal employment of foreigners (Count 3).

The Court said, prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of Aisha Huang after full trial on all the counts.

Justice Osei Marfo jailed Aisha Huang four years and six months on – undertaking a mining operation without a licence, (Count 1), facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation, (Count 2).

The Court also imposed a fine of 3,000 penalty units for both counts which is equivalent to GHc36, 000 (in default she is to serve additional 4 years and six months.

For the count of illegal employment of foreigners, (Count 3), the Court imposed a 12-month custodial sentence on her.

Justice Marfo also sentenced Aisha Huang to a fine of 1000 penalty units (GHc12, 000) for re-entry into Ghana without the permission of the Ghana Immigration Service (Count 4).

But, the fines are to be paid on all counts which means she will pay GHc48.

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, reports that, Aisha Huang was sentenced on Act 900 (the old law which was revoked in 2019 that had prescribed the maximum custodial sentence of five years

Justice Marfo said, she had wished she had the right to punish the convict (Aisha Huang) under the new law Act (995) which imposes a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 25 years.

Source: Inusah