Foreigners convicted of illegal mining shall serve full jail term before deportation - Minister

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Wed, 17 Nov 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana has cases involving foreigners engaged in illegal mining activities

Acts 995 of the mineral laws ensure foreigners face full rigours of the law

Mireku Duker advised current perpetrators to desist from illegal mining

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has said that any foreigner convicted of engaging in illegal mining will serve his or her jail term before being deported, Citinewsroom reported on November 17, 2021.

His statement follows the recent conviction of two Chinese and two Ghanaians operating at a site in Patatwumso in the Western Region.

In the intervening period, convicts are to pay fines or serve jail terms instead.

A look back at 2019, the government discontinued the infamous Aisha Huang case.

At the time, the Senior Minister, who is now a presidential advisor, Yaw Osafo Maafo, at a town hall meeting in the United States indicated that Aisha Huang did not face the full sternness of the law owing to diplomatic reasons.

Aside from Aisha Huang, many Chinese nationals have been deported for engaging in illegal mining.

The Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, George Mireku Duker, speaking on the recent conviction of some two Chinese nationals, suggested that the newly enacted Act 995 of the Mineral laws has rectified such a deviation, Citinewsroom stated in their report.

“Per Act 995, you are to serve your conviction before any determination of deportation is done. We seek to ensure that illegal foreigners face the rigours of the laws of the land before any deportation is done to deter others from doing same,” he asserted.

He, however, warned perpetrators of similar acts to stop or face the law as Act 995 of the Minerals and Mining Act is fully operational.

The Minerals and Mining Amendment Act, 2019

A non-Ghanaian who undertakes a mining operation or facilitates the participation of any person in mining contrary to a provision of this Act commits an offence and is liable on a conviction to

(a) a fine not less than one hundred thousand penalty units and not more than three hundred and fifty thousand penalty units; and

(b) a term of imprisonment of not less than twenty years and not more than twenty-five years; or

(c) both the fine and imprisonment

Where a non-Ghanaian who is liable on summary conviction under subsection (3) is a person liable to deportation under section 35 of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573), that non-Ghanaian shall, where sentenced to a term of imprisonment, serve the full sentence before deportation in accordance with subsection (3) of section 37 of Act 573.

The Aisha Huang case

The Aisha Huang story made headlines in the country in 2019.

The Chinese national, who was popularly described by Ghanaians as the ‘galamsey queen’, was deported after state prosecutors dropped the case against her and some four other Chinese nationals for engaging in illegal mining activities.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com