EXCLUSIVE: Harmon’s LEAKED statement to cabinet; Chinese Embassy requested 14 days stay to avert vehicle seizure, State Minister facilitated
Capitol News was exclusively privy to a copy of the statement, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon will present to Cabinet later today (April, 14) explaining the reason he requested a hold on the seizure of two vehicles belonging to Chinese mining and logging company, Bai Shan Lin.
Following news that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) would be seizing the company’s vehicles over its failure to pay a tax demand of $1.5B, the Commercial Officer at the Chinese Embassy in Guyana contacted Minister Harmon on March 17th informing him that the principals of the business (Bai Shan Lin) were out of the country.
The Officer then requested a stay of execution by the GRA to the Minister, pending the return of Company officials to Guyana in 14 days, promising the company would settle its indebtedness. Harmon was also given assurance that Bai Shan Lin, would not remove any of its assets.
It was after that conversation that he requested GRA to facilitate the Chinese Embassy’s appeal, which was granted, Capitol News understands.
Minister Harmon remains under the microscope following reports that he interfered in the GRA’s operation, when in fact he facilitated a request by the Chinese government, the document showed.
GRA officials recently moved ahead with its initial plan and seized two of the company’s luxury vehicles, it is unclear whether the logging company honored its end of the agreement by paying its outstanding taxes.
The company reportedly had the vehicles imported without the knowledge of the GRA. The GRA is now looking to file charges against them.
The vehicles were brought to Guyana while the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration was in office. They also attempted to seize the vehicles but halted that decision.
A government source told this newscast that consideration was given to the Chinese government request due to the cordial relationship the two states share.