A Tarkwa Circuit Court presided over by Her Honour Hathia Ama Manu has convicted two Chinese nationals, Chen Hung, Labania and Chen Xhili Andy, and two Ghanaians, Stephen Arthur and Prince Dennis Aidoo for unlawfully dealing in gold and money laundering.
The Court found each of them liable to pay a fine or in default serve prison terms ranging between 10 to 15years.
The case was conducted by Adelaide Kobiri-Woode (Mrs.) and assisted by Maara Pelpuo, Ewura-Abena Tweneboa Attafuah and Emmanuella Sarah Asmah, all Assistant State Attorneys, at the Takoradi Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice.
Conviction and sentence
The Circuit Court on November 5, 2021, convicted and found the two Chinese nationals liable to pay a fine of 120,000 penalty units (GHC1,440.000.00) each or in default serve 15 years each in prison.
The two Ghanaians were also fined 100,000 and 120,000 penalty units (GHC1,200,000.00 and GHC1,440,000.00) respectively, or in default, serve prison terms of 10years and 15years respectively.
Additionally, the court issued an order to; 1. Confiscate the 11kg Gold which is a proceed of the crime to the State and deposit same with the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources with immediate effect;
2. Confiscate the three (3) laptops, chargers, rifles as well as the ammunitions found to the State:
3. Confiscate an amount of GHC 788,736.00 to the State and make payment of 30% to the Office to the Judicial Service, 15% of the Attorney General and 10% to the National Security.
The amount outstanding is to be paid into the Consolidated Fund and evidence of same must be forwarded to the court by November 17, 2021.
4. The court also gave Chen Hung a MONTH to regularize her permit to stay in Ghana as it had expired or face immigration proceedings.
The court has subsequently directed the Attorney-General and Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) to ensure that the Orders are carried out.
Chen Hung. Chen Zhili and Stephen Arthur were found to be dealing in gold without licenses while Prince Denis Aidoo’s license had expired.
They were charged with eight (8) counts of offences
1.CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT CRIME, TO WIT BUYING MINERALS WITHOUT LICENCE
2.BUYING MINERALS WITHOUT LICENCE
3.ABETMENT OF CRIME, TO WIT BUYING MINERALS WITHOUT LICENCE
4.CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT CRIME, TO WIT SELLING MINERALS WITHOUT LICENCE
5.SELLING MINERALS WITHOUT LICENCE
6.ABETMENT OF CRIME, TO WIT SELLING MINERALS WITHOUT LICENCE
7.CONSIPIRACY TO COMMIT CRIME, TO WIT MONEY LAUNDERING 8.MONEY LAUNDERING
With the exception of Prince Denis Aidoo who was not charged under counts 7 and 8, the rest were charged on all 8 counts.