State Minister denies claims of Snr. Gov. Official in fuel smuggling

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on Friday during his post-Cabinet press conference debunked speculations that a senior government official is linked to the recent seized vessel.

The Minister also reassured that the matter of fuel smuggling is actively engaging the attention of the Guyana Revenue Authority, and the Guyana Energy Agency.

The Minister expressing confidence in the capabilities of the agencies in the campaign against fuel smuggling reminded of the scope of Guyana’s borders.

He noted that while it is difficult to patrol every square inch, there are protective measures such as the fuel marking system.

“From time to time vessels will actually come into the country with contraband items, it is important however once they come to a port that we are able to inspect, once it is determined these items are contraband that the Revenue Authority does what it has to do,” he stated.

It was announced by GRA Commissioner-General Godfrey Statia at an April 24 press conference that the agency had launched an extensive investigation to determine the prior movements of motor vessel Jubilee that was caught over the weekend with undeclared fuel.

There are allegations that a senior government official is involved at the centre of a ship that was found with illegal fuel  and that the case might go unpunished.

There are also speculations that the GEA has been inefficient in carrying out its mandate with regards to curbing fuel smuggling. (Excerpts from DPI)

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