A well-connected and powerful Chinese woman who is into galamsey in the Ashanti Region has been invited for questioning by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Joy News has learnt.
Asia Hwan alias Aisha, who also identifies herself as Yaa Asantewaa, has been invited in connection with some four Chinese nationals who were arrested over the weekend for engaging in an illegal mining in flagrant violation of a ban on the practice by government.
Director of Intelligence at Ashanti Regional GIS Bureau, Chief Superintendent, Stephen Adu-Appiah told Joy News’ Erastus Asare Donkor their checks revealed Ms Hwan had invited the four men into the country for illegal mining.
Notorious Chinese galamseyer, Aisha Hwan
"When they were asked about their documents after the arrest, they said their passports are with one Aisha," he said.
There was pandemonium at the Immigration office in Kumasi when Ms Hwan stormed the premises to demand the release of four Chinese men apprehended for engaging in galamsey.
The four, identified as Gao Jin Cheng, 45, Lu Qi Jun, 39, Haibin Gao, 26, and Zhang Zhi Peng, 23, were apprehended at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District of the Region by the Obuasi Immigration Command.
The four arrested Chinese nationals arrested for illegal mining
Ms Hwan herself is reported to have evaded several arrests for galamsey charges during the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. She is alleged to have highly placed sources in the NDC and governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Joy News has gathered when the four Chinese were rounded up at their galamsey site, calls were made by some persons who said they were calling from the Flagstaff House to have the men released.
Aisha's mining site at Bepotenten
Ms Hwan, a permanent resident in the country since 2015, is said to have arrived at the immigration office in a white Toyota Hilux, with registration number GN 8978-15 to demand the release of the men.
The vehicle had paraphernalia of the Manhyia Palace fitted inside when it pulled up at the office, Joy News has gathered.
The powerful Chinese Yaa Asantewaa is accused of employing crude tactics to acquire and invade lands for her galamsey activities. She has ties in the Ghana Police Service, Immigration Service and Ghana Armed Forces, Joy News sources have disclosed.
Aisha's mining site at Bepotenten
Senior Journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said she has video recordings of sexual encounters with powerful politicians and security capos which she uses for blackmail which enables her to wriggle herself out of the claws of the law.
She, is thus, able to take people's land at will and mine as she pleases because the law is consistently held in abeyance, allowing her to act with impunity and sometimes tacit protection from the police and the military.
Managing Director of the Volta Resources Limited, Edward Koranteng told Kojo Yankson host of Joy FM's Super Morning Show Monday, Aisha had encroached on the company's land and mined for more than three years with devasting environmental effect.
"Regardless of the rhetorics in response to our effort [to report her activities], you give her one day; two days [later] she would be back on the same land," he said. "She literally ignored our overtures."
Some illegal miners on the Ankobrah River in the Western Region
Ms Hwan is said to be operating in Amansie Central, Obuasi, Dunkwa and Bepotenten all in the Ashanti Region.
In 2015, the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) ordered the release of some equipment seized from Ms Hwan during an anti-galamsey operation.
In a letter signed by the Regional Coordinating Director, Enoch Siaw, REGSEC said it did not sanction the operation that was hailed by residents and which led to the seizure.
"When you get to her mining site hours after her arrest, you will see her there," the reporter said., indicating her level of influence in security circles.
The road leading to her mining site is replete with three checkpoints manned by police officers who are said to act as informants for her. "So any branded vehicle that passes by, they [police] relay the information to them [Ms Hwan and other Chinese miners]," Erastus added.
The reporter said they picked up an information that despite the arrest of the four, illegal mining was still going on at the Beotenten site.
To confirm this for themselves and to avoid tipping off the police who would inform the miners, the reporter said, he and his cameraman rented a wretched taxi and disguised themselves as illegal miners and used a different route to the site.
When they arrived at the scene, some other Chinese and local illegal miners were busy at work, mining, the reporter revealed.
According to Erastus, this was the clearest indication yet of the audacity of Aisha who Kweku Baako said has built a network of influence in high places, using blackmail and payoffs.
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