Osafo Maafo Justify Gov't’s Decision To Set Aisha Huang Free
“We have a very good relationship with China. Today, the main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about two billion dollars to us… So when there are these kinds of arrangements, there are other things behind the scenes.
“Putting that lady (Aisha) in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your economic problems. It is not going to make you happy or me happy, that’s not important, the most important thing is that she has been deported from Ghana,” Senior Minister stated.
Yaw Osafo Maafo said jailing galamsey queen Aisha Huang in Ghana will not solve the country’s economic problems.
He was responding to a question from a participant at the program who sought to know why the government deported the Chinese national instead of jailing her in accordance with Ghanaian laws held at a recent town hall meeting in the US.
Osafo Maafo in his response stressed Ghana’s diplomatic ties with China and the huge investments Chinese companies are making in developing the country’s infrastructure, citing the $2 billion Sinohydro deal.
The galamsey queen and four of her Chinese employees were arraigned before the court on May 9, 2017, for engaging in illegal small-scale mining at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.
She was charged with 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 with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
The other four accused persons were charged with disobedience of directives given by or under the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
The state’s decision to discontinue the case much later saw the court discharge the five accused persons.
Aisha Huang and the four others were subsequently deported to China in what some Ghanaians said was a betrayal especially as the government vowed to deal with illegal miners whose actions had destroyed the country’s land and water bodies.