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GRA Officers Dismissed

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Two GRA managers and a supervisor have had their services with the revenue collection agency terminated and no reason has been given for the terminations although it is believed that the move may be the GRA’s response over that container of cigarette snafu.

The Head of Customs enforcement is one of the managers, who has been sent packing. The termination may have its genesis in a container of cigarettes that was brought to Guyana before being sent to Suriname. However when the container reached Suriname, it had no corresponding documents and as such it was sent back. It was on its return to Guyana via Moleson Creek that the Berbice Anti Smuggling Squad moved in and ceased the container and discovered that it was a container of bootleg cigarettes.

When the Berbice anti smuggling squad enquired about the container, it was realized that the consignee had gotten the all clear from a senior GRA official to transfer the container from Guyana to Suriname, however reports indicate that the official denied that he had given permission although documents may exist that tell a different story.

Capitol News understands that from the time the container arrived in Guyana initially, it was being monitored by customs enforcement, but its transshipment to Suriname was approved by a senior customs official. It was taken to the Suriname ferry under guard. With regard to how the case was handled while the container was here since it was consigned to Guyana, a customs officer explained that everything that was done was done in accordance with the law.

After the container was returned from Suriname for want of documents and after it was realized that the products in it were all counterfeit products, Customs launched a probe although that probe did not look at the official who provided the clearance for the transshipment to Suriname.

Capitol News was told that Guyana did not lose any revenue from the operation. The 3 persons whose services have been terminated are at a loss over the move according to customs sources since they followed the law and did their jobs with regard to how the shipment was handled while it was in Guyana.

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