Guyana Revenue Authority clears the air on the cocaine in rice issue
Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur said officials at GRA did follow all procedures dealing with the export documents for the vessel which departed these shores and was later discovered with some 70 kilos of cocaine in the shipment of rice.
According to the GRA the risk-profiling system was used for the shipment since it allows for exporters to be profiled based on several criteria.
The steps included their reputation, shipping history, destination country and type of goods and as such, the shipment of rice was not profiled for scanning, but for physical examination the GRA said.
Sattaur said based on the risk assessed; the Drug Enforcement Unit was not required to be present during the examination of the rice shipped.
He said that the physical examination was conducted by the Customs Officer assigned to the Drug Enforcement Unit prior to the sealing of the container.
The GRA Executive explained that a Customs Officer would have then observed the packing or stuffing of the container with the bags of rice. But Stattaur is making it known that the bags would have already been sealed via a process from which his entity is excluded.
The GRA said the organization remains committed to reviews which are conducted as a way to ensure that the Standing Operating Procedures are followed by officials.
It was noted by the agency that investigations are still being conducted at an inter-agency level and the findings will be made available upon conclusion.