Two Chinese nationals have been convicted for money laundering and unlawfully dealing in gold in Ghana.
Two Ghanaians accomplices have also been convicted.
They are Chen Hung, Chen Zhili, the two Chinese nationals and Prince Denis Aidoo and Stephen Arthur, the Ghanaian accomplices.
Apart from Prince Denis Aidoo, the other three were charged with eight counts of offences including money laundering.
A Tarkwa Circuit Court in the Western Region, presided over by Hathia Ama Manu found each of them liable to pay a fine or in default serve prison terms ranging between 10 to 15 years.
The case was conducted by Mrs Adelaide Kobiri-Woode with assistance from Naara Pelpuo, Ewura-Abena Tweneboa Attafuah and Emmanuella Sara Asmah, all assistant State Attorneys at the Takoradi Office of the Attorney-General.
Chen Hubg, 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 counts of offences including, conspiracy to commit crime, to wit buying minerals without license, buying minerals without licence, abetment of crime, to wit buying minerals without licence, conspiracy to commit crime, to wit selling of minerals without licence, selling minerals without licence, selling minerals without licence, abetment of crime, to wit selling minerals without licence, conspiracy to commit crime, to wit money laundering and money laundering.
With the exception of Prince Denis Aidoo who was not charged under counts seven and eight – conspiracy to commit crime, to wit money laundering and money laundering – the rest were charged on all eight counts.
The Circuit Court convicted them on November 5, 2021.
A statement from the Attorney General’s Office [attached below] 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.”