Was the deportation of ‘Rosewood Queen’ Helena Huang also a mistake? Dr. Apaak quizzes Nana Addo

The Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak has reacted to comments by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that the deportation of Aisha Huang, the galamsey question was a mistake.

The legislator believes the comments by the president that the deportation was a mistake in hindsight.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said
government’s decision to deport Chinese national, Aisha Huang after her reported involvement in illegal mining was a mistake.

The President was responding to a question from a Ghanaian resident in the US state of Colorado.

He said, “I think the decision to deport Aisha Huang in hindsight was a mistake and that is why that process and procedure is being stopped.”

Aisha Huang was charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

However, the government discontinued the case and deported her in December 2018.

But reacting to the issue, Dr. Apaak questioned if by the statement of the president it was also a mistake by the government to deport the rosewood queen, Helen Huang.

“Folks, President NADAA says govern after the decision to deport the “Galamsay Queen”, Aisha Haung was a mistake in hindsight.

May I ask Mr. President if the deportation of the “Rosewood Queen”, Helen Haung, several months after Aisha’s deportation by the government is/was also a mistake?

The bigger question is who committed these mistakes? And why has no one been sectioned?”

Helen Huang also gained notoriety after he was arrested for engaging in the illegal rosewood business.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in Aug.ust deported Huang Yanfeng, aka Helena Huang, who had been standing trial for allegedly transporting a large quantity of Rosewood to Tema for export to China illegally was been deported.

The GIS explained that she was deported for engaging in illicit business while in the country and subsequently revoked her resident permit.

The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Kwame Esuah Takyi, in a notice announcing the deportation said “You are hereby informed that your permit to remain in Ghana has been revoked. Therefore, your continuous presence in Ghana is unlawful.”

The GIS also informed the relevant institutions, including the Minister of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration as well as missions abroad to refuse her visa to facilitate her entry into the country in future.

Huang was arrested in Tamale in May for transporting trucks of Rosewood lumbers and charged with possessing banned forestry products.

She was, however, declared missing some 48 hours after being granted a police Inquiry bail. She was re-arrested in June.

Dr. Apaak after her rearrest called for severe sanctions but was shocked after she was deported.

He later slammed government for failing to show leadership towards the right against illegal rosewood trade.

Currently, he has petitioned the Special Prosecutor’s Office to investigate government officials indicted in the latest investigative report by the EIA on illegal rosewood trade.

Background

A report by the Washington-based Agency claimed that powerful Chinese and Ghanaian traffickers are still harvesting and shipping rosewood out of the country.

According to the EIA probe, “the help of ruling party members and complicity at all levels of government” despite a government ban.

“They have established an institutionalized scheme, fueled by bribes, to mask the illegal harvest, transport, export, and CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species]- licensing of the timber,” the report said.

Following this report, Mr Apaak who said it was worrying that one of the most influential Ghanaian traffickers who spoke to the EIA undercover investigator alleged that some seized “containers were about to be auctioned to him thanks to his [political] connections”.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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