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Gov’t Didn’t Sacrifice Galamsey Queen For $2bn Bauxite Cash   
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Aisha Huang
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LANDS AND Natural Resources Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has denied that the Government of Ghana decided to discontinue the prosecution of Chinese national, Aisha Huang, who was standing trial for illegal mining, in exchange for the $2 billion Sinohydro cash.

While many were expecting Government to jail the Chinese national nicknamed ‘galamsey queen’ to serve as a deterrent, the state rather decided to deport her.

Recently, Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, justified government’s decision to discontinue the prosecution of Ms. Huang.

According to him, jailing her in Ghana would not have solved the country’s economic problems.

In response to a question from a participant at the Ghanaian Government’s Town Hall Meeting recently in the US on why the Galamsey queen was deported rather than sent to jail, the Senior Minister had observed that the need to protect Ghana’s diplomatic ties with China and the huge investments Chinese companies were making in developing the country’s infrastructure, citing the $2 billion Sinohydro deal contributed to the decision.

He had noted emphatically that “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.”

He added that “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 other things behind the scenes.”

According to him, “putting that lady (Aisha Huang) 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 out of Ghana.”

His response which appeared to suggest that foreign nationals can commit crimes in Ghana and go free once their nations are investing heavily in the country, angered a lot of Ghanaians, especially coming at a time when Tanzania had jailed a Chinese woman 15 years for illegally trading in ivory.

But the Lands Minister updating the nation on Thursday in Accra on the fight against galamsey, says Aisha Huang was not part of the discussion on the Sinohydro deal.

He stressed that “Aisha Huang was not deported because of the Sinohydro loan.”

The Minister further denied reports that some officials of the Akufo-Addo’s administration protected Ms. Huang from being jailed.

He said “no government official thought of shielding her, no government official pampered her.”
Source: Daily Guide

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