General News of Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Mr John Alexander Ackon, a former Ashanti Regional Minister under President John Mahama’s administration, has disassociated himself from, Ms En Huang, the Chinese woman said to be a kingpin in illegal mining and currently being investigated by the Ghana Immigration Service.
Ms Huang, also known as Aisha and Yaa Asantewaa is said to be engaged in illegal mining (galamsey) at Bepotenteng in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.
There has been some suggestions that she was linked to Mr Ackon and that when she was arrested in 2016 for instance by National Security operatives, Mr Ackon facilitated her release.
A letter in circulation and signed by the secretary of the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC), Mr Kofi Jumo Asobonteng on behalf of the then minister [Ackon], authorised the release of four excavators and a Toyota pick-up owned by Ms Huang in 2016 .
But speaking in a radio interview on Asempa FM Wednesday afternoon, Mr Ackon said he does not know her.
He said although the letter was a solid official letter from the council; he did not know her until recently and explained that a report from a taskforce mandated by REGSEC to monitor the activities of galamsey in the region during his tenure revealed an unlawful swoop which led to the seizing of equipment of galamsey operators including that of Ms Huang.
He added that investigations revealed that the taskforce, which was led by the then deputy regional minster, Andy Okrah, the BNI, National Security, military and police personnel illegally carried out the operation.
According to him, the council therefore called for the release of all the equipment, “the chairman of the Regional Security Council was the implementer of any decision at meeting; hence the secretary to the chairman was responsible for writing,” he added