Another GRA Senior Officer Dismissed
Today a 4th GRA senior officer was dismissed and again no specific reason was given for the firing. The officer who served as the manager for wharves was called to a meeting and handed a dismissal letter this morning, much to his surprise. It is believed that his dismissal too may be linked to that container of fake cigarettes that were listed as women’s underwear. A probe by customs into the contents of the container and its transshipment to neighboring Suriname had made a number of recommendations but did not recommend the sacking of the wharves manager.
Earlier this week three other senior staff members were sent packing, 2 managers and a supervisor. Among them the head of enforcement. That move by customs also came as a shocker to many at customs house. The former head of enforcement worked at Customs for 21 years and the wharves manager who was sent off today spent 18 years at the revenue agency. Sources close to the men said with those long years of service and in senior positions too, surely customs administration could not be questioning the men’s integrity and competence.
The fall out over the container of bootleg cigarettes may have far reaching consequences since the transshipment to Suriname was authorize by a senior customs official who is the same official who called for the probe but yet was not a part of it.
A customs house source said that flies in the face of reason. The source pointed out that all procedures were followed from the time the container arrived in Guyana to the time it was sent to Suriname and returned from Suriname for want of more documents. It was when the container came back and was opened that the consignee realized that he may have been duped by the supplier.
Not only was he left with bootleg cigarettes but they were not in the quantity ordered and the sealed container was filled with rubbish and old pieces of equipment to make up the weight. That may have been done by the china based supplier. The consignee by the way is reported to have left the country and was never pulled in for any sort of investigation according to sources at customs.
The shake up with the 4 dismissals has left customs officers sitting and paying attention to not only see who their replacements will be, but to also see who next may be sent packing without explanations or reason. The fired officers are said to be in talks with their attorneys.