A Kumasi High Court has ordered the deportation of four Chinese nationals for their involvement in illegal mining (galamsey) on a 40-acre land of Obuasi-based Seidu Fanzia School.
The four, Shi Li Wen, Huang Shen Jun, Li DeHao and Lan Hai Song, were convicted for illegal residence, use of fraudulent means to validate their residence and working without required permits.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Emmanuel Senyo Amedahe said all four Chinese nationals have violated sections 23(1) and 35(1, d) of the Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573) of Ghana.
Thus, they were found working by prospecting for gold on the disputed site at Obuasi, therefore they “are to be deported to their country of origin by this court and are hereby deported,” the presiding judge said.
In a dramatic turn of events, 27-year-old Rebecca Oforiwaa, who married one of four Chinese nationals, Lan Hai Song, under the Customary Law in 2018, wailed uncontrollably upon learning of the court’s pronouncement.
She turned up at the court premise with their three children, including a 4-day-old baby, to plead for leniency for her husband, who, she said, has been the backbone of their family.
In an interview with Joy News, monitored by the Ghana Report, she cried out saying, “Ghanaians must come to my aid.”
“How would I and my children survive in the unlikely event of his deportation? Who will take care of me and the children?” she puzzled.
The Chinese and their Ghanaian collaborator, Asamoah Kati, were arrested while mining gold under the protection of armed guards on land earmarked for a school.
They were, however, granted an absconding warrant by Justice Amedahe, but failed to meet the bail condition of GH¢200,000 each with two sureties.
They were therefore ordered by the court to deposit their passports and work permits for fear of absconding before the final determination of the case.
They also remained in prison custody from April 19, 2021, until Thursday, June 3, when the court ordered their deportation.
The court also heard three of the convicts applied for renewal of permits on May 4, 2021, but the court maintained that it was impossible since they were in prison custody.
The deportation of the four comes at a time that the government has intensified efforts at clamping down on operations of illegal miners in mining communities across the country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ignited his fight against illegal mining in forest reserves and water bodies with the introduction of the Operation Halt military task force this year.
The task force is in the fourth wave of Operation Halt II, which involves removing all persons and logistics involved in mining from the Ankobra River, its tributaries and forest reserves.
A total of 401 men of all ranks from the Ghana Armed Forces have been deployed for this exercise.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, last week disclosed that five cases pending in court, as part of the government’s fight against galamsey.
The cases include the Republic versus George Asante and 31 others, Republic versus Yang Maoji, Republic versus Xue Linhua and two others, and Republic versus Xue Linhua and five others.
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