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Trial of 3 accomplices of ‘galamsey queen’ begins June 6

 The trial of three persons said to be accomplices of En Huang, also known as Aisha Huang, has been fixed for June 6, 2023, by the Accra High Court.

Ms Huang, also nicknamed ‘galamsey queen’, was arrested last year for allegedly undertaking mining activity without licence.

This was after she was tried and subsequently deported to China in 2019 for similar offence.

In this trial which is before Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, the three alleged accomplices, Li We Guo, Shi Mei Zhi both Chinese, and Nana Kwame Opoku, alias Obolo, a Ghanaian, have been charged to­gether for conspiracy to undertake mining without license.

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Whilst Wei Guo and Zhi, who are lovers, are charged for under­taking mining without license and false representation in obtaining resident permit, Guo, is separately charged for false representation in obtaining a work permit.

Nana Kwame Opoku, alias Obolo, was charged for facilitating the participation of non-Ghana­ians in an illegal mining operation.

The two Chinese and the Gha­naian had pleaded not guilty.

Guo and Zhi are on remand at the Nsawam Prison whilst Opoku was granted GH¢500,000 with two sureties.

The facts according to Mercy Arthur, a Principal State Attorney, were that on September 14, 2022, as part of investigations into the case of Aisha, personnel of the Ministry of National Security, Kumasi, received information that Guo and Zhi were engaged in illegal mining.

She said the National Security, commenced investigations and ar­rested Guo and Zhi, together with another Chinese and a Vietnamese, at their residence at Paraku Estates near Daaban, Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region.

Ms Arthur said between 2017 and 2018, Guo and Zhi, both lovers, contacted Opoku and subsequently went to meet him at Nkawkaw.

She said the purpose of the meeting was for Opoku to procure land for Guo and Zhi to undertake mining.

Ms Arthur said that upon receipt of the request of Guo and Zhi, Opoku approached some farmers at Nwinso in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region, some of whom were old and frail and requested to buy their farmlands located at a suburb of Nwinso, called Dunkwa, for mining.

The Principal State Attorney told the court that the farmers sold the land at GH¢7,000 per acre.

Ms Arthur said Opoku in­formed the Chief of Nwinso about the deal and the chief sum­moned the farmers to confirm the sale of the land to the accused.

She said Opoku took Guo and Zhi to the palace to meet the chief and the elders.

The Principal State Attorney said Opoku assisted the accused to rent a house at Nwinso where the accused lived and conducted mining.

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