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Issue of Beer smuggling surfaces at Rupununi Rodeo – 2nd Apr 2013

rodeoAmidst the fun of wild horseback riding and participating in watermelon eating competitions, a trade issue regarding Brazilian beer surfaced at this year’s Rupununi Rodeo.

Some business owners complained that there is no level playing field when it comes to granting of tax exemptions on Brazilian beers.

In an interview with Capitol News, Lethem businessman Ujaesh Singh, described the arbitrary manner in which exemptions are granted to others and said it was unfair.

But according to Chairman of the Rupununi Rodeo Committee, John Macedo, who the allegations are being leveled against, said the comments about favouritism are baseless and far from the truth.

But at the same time, he acknowledged that he had received tax relief on several cases of beer from customs for redistribution during the Rodeo.

According to a source close to the Guyana Revenue Authority, the officer that is in charge of the Lethem GRA office had confiscated more than 140 cases of beer that came across the border from Brazil, by Macedo.

Capitol News understands, that a request was made by Macedo to have the beers cleared, and then the duty paid after, but was denied. However, the officer at theLethem GRA office was given instructions from a senior Government official to have the beer enter Guyana without being taxed.

Both President Donald Ramator and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds were among those attending.

This is not the first time the issue of beer smuggling at the Lethem Border has raised.

Local beverage company Banks DIH Limited, some time ago, raised concern over the trade.

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