A 43-year-old Chinese national who was arrested by the Northern Regional Police Command for allegedly transporting a large quantity of rosewoods has been released on police enquiry bail and asked to report to the police Today, Wednesday.

The Northern Regional Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mohammed Yussif Tanko who confirmed the release to newsmen said no charge has been preferred against her.

The suspect, Helena Huang, was released immediately after a press briefing at the Northern Regional Police Headquarters Tuesday morning.

Ms. Huang was arrested on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at the Vittin checkpoint on the Tamale-Yendi highway.

She was escorting the two trucks with registration numbers, BA 2225 C and GR 9720-12.

The rosewood had been loaded in four containers on board two articulator trucks.

According to her, they were on their way from the Yendi direction through the Tamale metropolis to Tema.

The Northern Regional Police Crime Officer, who is also in charge of the North East and Savannah Regions, Superintendent (Supt) Otuo Acheampong told journalists that the police received intelligence about the incident and immediately alerted various checkpoints.

According to Supt. Acheampong, preliminary investigations have revealed that the suspect does not have a lumbering certificate, passport and other valuable documents that permitted her to engage in rosewood business in the country.

He added that the investigation also revealed that Ms. Huang had gained notoriety in dealing in the illegal rosewood business in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.

He said the suspect was currently in police custody assisting in further investigation into the incident.

The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry in March, this year placed a total ban on the harvesting and exporting of rosewood in the country.

The Ministry had directed the Forestry Commission to suspend the processing of permits for the exportation of rosewood.

However, currently some companies are said to be exporting the rosewood using expired licenses, while some others have no form of permit.

Rosewood is a finely grained timber used mainly for the production of very expensive furniture for the elite class in Asia.

It is used also for making chess pieces, parts of other creative and musical instruments, and as such very highly prized in Asian countries, particularly China.

China alone imports close to 96 per cent of all rosewood lumber exported out of Ghana.

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