A duo of Chinese nationals has been found guilty by a court in Tarkwa for illegal gold trade as well as laundering money in Ghana.
Chen Hung and Chen Zhili were convicted along with their Ghanaian accomplices Prince Denis Aidoo and Stephen Arthur. Each of them but Aidoo was charged with eight counts of offences including money laundering.
The court presided over by Hathia Ama Manu ruled that each of the convicted was liable to a fine. If they default on that, they would serve prison terms ranging between 10 to 15 years.
The two Chines expatriates, along with Arthur, were found to be dealing in gold without licences. Aidoo’s licence had expired even though he too was overseeing operations.
Some of their charges included conspiracy to commit crime, buying minerals without licence, money laundering and abetment of crime.
A statement from the Attorney General’s Office said the Circuit Court on 5th November 2021 convicted and found the two Chinese nationals liable to pay a fine of 120,000 penalty units (GH¢1,440.000.00) each or in default serve 15 years each in prison.
“The two Ghanaians were also fined 100,000 and 120,000 penalty units (GH¢1,200,000.00 and GH¢1,440,000.00) respectively, or in default, serve prison terms of l0 years and 15 years respectively.”
Additionally, the court issued an order to confiscate the 11 kg gold, three laptops, chargers, rifles, and an amount of GH¢788,736 to the State.
Thirty percent of the proceeds will be paid to the Judicial Service, 15 percent to the Office of the Attorney General, and 10 percent 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, 17th, 2021,” the statement added.
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.
The statement added that “the conviction of these criminals, and more in recent times, epitomizes the Attorney-General’s commitment to make crime an unattractive enterprise.”