Former President John Dramani Mahama said he deported almost 5,000 illegal Chinese miners and the Chinese government played a part in airlifting its nationals back home.
He stressed that the deportations did not affect the good relationship Ghana had with the Republic of China.
He said “When I was president, we valued the relations with China but if you are a Ghanaian and you go to China and you engage in illegality, they don’t say because of the good relation they have with Ghana, they are going to let you go scot-free.
“You are going to face the full rigours of the law in China and I don’t doubt that there are some of our citizens in jail in China.”
“When I became President I was faced with this same illegal gold-mining.
“I deported almost 5,000 illegal Chinese miners. I didn’t say because of the good relation we have with China, we should allow them to continue to engage in illicit activities and we collaborated with the Chinese Embassies, they got 747s and they came and took their nationals away.
“It didn’t destroy our relationship.”
This comes in the wake of fears expressed about the prosecution of popular Chinese businesswoman Aisha Huang, who is standing trial at an Accra Circuit Court for engaging in illegal mining.
She was deported in 2018 based on fears that her possible incarceration could mar the good relationship between Ghana and China.
But almost five years after her deportation, she is said to have sneaked into the country with a Togo visa to continue her illegal mining business.
The former President, said any Chinese person who breaks the laws of Ghana must be made to face the full rigours of the law as Ghanaians in China who break the law.
He said he will not be surprised if there are some Ghanaians languishing in Chinese jails for breaking the laws of that country.