It has emerged that the 43-year-old Chinese woman who jumped bail last week after being caught in possession of large quantities of rosewood has over 30 containers of the banned product.
Police sources say Helen Huang, who is at large after being granted police enquiry bail, wrote in her statement that “there are between 30 and 40 containers of rosewood currently around Tumu in the Upper West Region.”
Police intelligence indicated that Helen Huang escaped to Togo after jumping bail in Tamale but has been frequenting Tumu.
A police source said “she has been spotted in Tumu. She said in her statement that she has between 30 and 40 containers of rosewood in Tumu.”
Already, Mohammed Bondirigbum, a freelance journalist, who stood surety for Helen Huang, has been granted bail.
The Tamale Circuit Court, presided over by Justice Twumasi, granted Mohammed Bondirigbum bail with two sureties.
The court said the sureties should be individuals who are government workers earning GH¢3,000 each or with landed property worth about GH¢130,000.
The judge ordered the police to offload the rosewood and transport the two trucks to the court premises.
He subsequently adjourned the case to May 22.
Drama unfolded at the court when the surety pleaded with the judge to allow him a month to produce the suspect.
The judge was disappointed that the surety did not know anything about the suspect but was in a hurry to stand surety for her.
The 43-year-old Chinese woman was arrested by the Tamale Regional Police Command for allegedly possessing large quantities of rosewood illegally on May 7.
She was arrested with two trucks carrying four containers of rosewood, which has been banned.
The Northern Regional Crime Officer, Superintendent Otuo Aceampong, confirmed that Helen Huang had defied an order to report to the police station.
Following the arrest of Helen Huang for illegal possession of Rosewood, the Savannah Regional Minister, Salifu Adam Braimah, shut down Brivywells Company, a logging company near Damongo, which is said to belong to Helen Huang.
Many people overexploit rosewood in the wild despite a 2010 moratorium on trade and illegal logging which continues in the country on a large scale.
In Ghana, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has banned the harvest of rosewood in line with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Helen Huang was arrested at a barrier at Vittin, a suburb of Tamale.
Upon her arrest, Helen Huang allegedly claimed ownership of the rosewood, adding that she had the right documents to cover the rosewood but failed to produce the documents.
The suspect was transporting the rosewood through the Northern Region to Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
There was drama at the Regional Police Command when Helen Huang accused the police at the barrier of demanding bribe from her to allow safe passage.
According to her, she was arrested because she refused to pay bribe demanded by the police and not because she does not have the right documents.
Source: Daily Guide