Accomplices of Aisha En Huang, a Chinese woman who has been accused of engaging in illegal mining (galamsey) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region have been living in Ghana illegally following the expiration of their visas, an Accra High Court has heard.
A prosecution witness in the trial, Deputy Superintendent of Immigration, Divine Ahumah Occansey, told the court on Thursday that Gao Jin Cheng and Lu Qi Jun entered the country on a 30-day B1 visas on June 13, 2015 and September 26, 2017 respectively but failed to renew their stay in the country.
He stated that all the four accomplices were not granted work permit.
Led in his evidence-in-chief by Mercy Arthur, a chief state attorney, the witness told the court that although Aisha Huang informed the immigration officers that she invited Habin Gao and Zhang Pen into the country to work on her excavators, details available to the GIS show otherwise.
Gao Jin Cheng
DSI Occansey told the court that Gao Jin Cheng entered the country on June 13, 2015 with a B1 Visa, which was issued in Beijing, China by the Ghana Mission.
The court heard that upon his arrival, his Chinese passport was endorsed for 30 days and he was not permitted to engage in any form of work or be employed by any person without notice to the Comptroller General of the GIS.
“The last permit he had was an extension of visitors’ permit which expired on September 26, 2016. Between September 26, 2015 and the time he was arrested – May 5, 2017, he was living in the country illegally and he could not have been employed by anybody,” the witness told the court.
Lu Qi Jun
DSI Occansey told the court that Jun arrived in the country on July 30, 2016 on an emergency entry visa which was issued to him by the GIS.
He stated that an emergency visa is given to a person whose residence in his own country is far from Ghana’ Mission abroad and intends to travel within the shortest possible time.
The court heard that the invitation on Jun’s visa was by a company called Become Rich Company Ghana Limited at Fadama, but the company could not be traced.
The witness said when they keyed in the company’s information into the GIS system to confirm whether it was issued a permit, it turned out that the director of the Taiwanese company left the country 17 days before Jun arrived in Ghana.
He added that Jun has lived in Ghana illegally since August 29, 2016 and has no permit to engage in any form of work or be employed.
He arrived in the country with two B1 visas issued in Beijing and the other an emergency entry visa issued by the GIS, the witness said.
He said Habin Gaos’ current B1 Visa was issued on April 23, 2017 by Ghana’s Mission in Beijing and at the time of his arrest on May 5, 2017, he was living in the country legally.
He stated that the suspect was invited into the country by Dynamic Trading Company for business but when the company was contacted, it distanced itself from him.
The information, he said, was contrary to what Aisha told the GIS that she invited the suspect to work on her excavators.
“At the time of his arrest at a mining site on May 5, 2017, he was living in the country legally,” DSI Occansey told the court.
He said research by the GIS revealed that Pen was invited into the country by one Kazia Odonkor, a Ghanaian working at Great Wall Traditional Clini in Kumasi.
He told the court that when they contacted the company, it distanced itself from Pen, saying it did not know the said Kaszai Odonkor.
DSI Occansey said Aisha told them that she invited Pen into the country to fix her excavators.