An Accra Circuit Court has refused En Huang, aka Aisha, an alleged galamsey queen, and three others bail after appearing before the court for the second time.
Aisha Huang aka Huang Ruixia and three others: John Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun are being held for engaging in sale and purchase of minerals without valid license.
Aisha, 47, is facing an additional charge of engaging in mining without licence.
They have denied the charges in the presence of their respective lawyers.
The court after listening to the arguments of prosecution and defence counsels, denied bail on the grounds that “as now security operatives did not know how Aisha for instance entered Ghana.”
According to the court, accused persons may interfere with Police investigations and witnesses as Aisha is said to be associated with some big wigs in the country and that she had gained notoriety for galamsey.
It also considered the severity of offence when found guilty and severity of punishment at the end of the trial.
“The motion for bail is refused,” the court presided over by Mr Samuel Bright Acquah ruled.
Captain Retired Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, who represented Aisha, Hua, and Hun, prayed the court to grant accused persons’ bail as accused had earlier on been remanded into custody
Capt. Rtd Effah Dartey noted that the case had been hyped and polarized by the media and urged the court to admit accused persons to bail to uphold justice in the world.
According to defence counsel, he was finding it difficult to get access to his clients citing the bureaucracies at the National Investigations Bureau.
He said his client (Aisha) in the previous case before the High Court was on bail and she was attending court frequently until the state filed Nolle Prosequi and deported her.
Defence counsel quizzed prosecution’s inability to concretise its investigations over the past weeks and prayed the court to grant accused persons bail in the interest of the public.
According to counsel, the Constitution defined public interest as any right which inure to the benefit of the public, adding that the public interest in the case was justice.
Detective Chief Inspector Frederick Sarpong opposed the grant of bail, saying investigations had led to the arrest of more accomplices, adding that accused persons might interfere with investigation if granted bail.
Police Detective Chief Inspector Sarpong said accused persons were arrested and charged with criminal offences but not merely brought to court by virtue of nationality,race or colour, as counsels wanted the court to believe.
Mr Franklin Kumatoh, who represented Jei, prayed for bail, saying his client was arrested after she visited a male friend.
According to counsel, his client was on medication, and she needed to take her medication regularly.
Not quite long after the bail application was made, Jei collapsed and was rushed to the Judicial Service Clinic for medical attention.
Prosecution’s case was that the complainants were security and Intelligence officers based in Accra.
According to the Prosecutor, all the accused persons are Chinese nationals who have gained notoriety in engaging in series of small-scale mining activity known as “Galamsey” across the country.
The Prosecutor said during the year 2017, Aisha was arrested for similar offences but managed to sneak out of the country in 2018, averting prosecution.
It said during the early part of the year 2022, Aisha sneaked back into the country after having changed her details on her Chinese passport.
The prosecutor said Aisha again assumed the small-scale mining activities without license and together with the rest of the accused persons engaged in the sale and purchases Mineral in Accra without valid authority granted as required by the Minerals and Mining Act.
Prosecution said Hua, Jei and Hun were also into sale of equipment used in illegal mining activities.
It said accused persons were arrested based on intelligence.